England manager Gareth Southgate cleared the air with Reykjavik renegade Phil Foden on the first day of camp and is looking forward to seeing what he can produce against Iceland.
Having long been tipped as a future international star, the Manchester City talent was called into the senior set-up for the first time as the Three Lions finally kicked-off their international calendar with September’s Nations League matches.
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Foden made his senior debut in England’s first match of that doubleheader against Iceland along with Manchester United’s Mason Greenwood, but the pair were soon sent home after beaching the strict bio bubble in Reykjavik.
They were left out of October’s fixtures as punishment but Foden returned to the fold for this month’s tripleheader and, having come off the bench against the Republic of Ireland, is set to feature in the Nations League against Iceland on Wednesday.
“It has been good to have him back this week,” the England boss said of the 2017 Under-17 World Cup Golden Ball winner.
“Phil has trained really well this week and it was good to get him into the game against Ireland.
“Given the players in the squad and the way it is emerging and evolved over the week, it will be good to get Phil into the game tomorrow.
“I am sure he has relished the chance to be back with the squad, we know he is a very exciting talent and he is a player who we have a lot of belief in and who Manchester City have a lot of belief in, so this could be a good opportunity for him to show everybody what he can do really.”
Foden’s third cap will come as the playmaker completes a senior England camp for the first time.
Southgate stressed at this month’s squad announcement that there would be “no sort of carryover from what happened” during his previous senior involvement – something he underlined to the 20-year-old at the start of the international meet-up.
“I made sure we chatted on the first day and put that behind us immediately,” the Three Lions boss said.
“It was done once we had made the decision on the October squad. That was it. From then on it was always going to be a judgment on football.
“I’m sure for anybody walking back in initially that is going to feel a little bit… especially when you’re young but definitely as the week has gone on he has been more relaxed.
“I gave him a bit of a hiding at two touch yesterday which he was probably a little bit upset about but he’s in with the group, he’s relaxed and that’s what’s important because to be able to play his football properly that’s where everybody needs to be.”
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