Rio Ferdinand sends Phil Foden England plea to Gareth Southgate after Man City masterclass

Rio Ferdinand has insisted Gareth Southgate should take note of Phil Foden’s impact centrally ahead of Euro 2024 this summer.

Foden was in jaw-dropping form on Wednesday night as his hat-trick helped down Aston Villa 4-1 at the Etihad Stadium to keep City fighting for the Premier League title.

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A free-kick and two second-half strikes saw Foden claim a hat-trick against VillaCredit: Getty

As well as scoring his first ever direct free-kick, his second-half double helped him reach over 20 goals in a season for the first time, which saw him join an illustrious crew, in his career and it was helped by the fact he was playing more central than usual.

In England’s recent friendlies against Brazil and Belgium, Southgate pushed Foden out onto both flanks but the 23-year-old could not light up the stage like he does at the Etihad.

And after Foden’s stupendous display against Villa, former Manchester United star Ferdinand has told the England boss to sit up and watch the attacking midfielder pull the strings from a central position.

Speaking to Laura Woods for TNT Sports after City’s 4-1 win, he said: “One thing I would say about him as to why he is still here doing what he is doing, he is never too high and he is never too low.

“He is very balanced in his approach to certain situations and even in game and I would say out of the game as well, off the pitch, I don’t think he ever gets too overawed by situations. He doesn’t see situations too big for him.

“These actions [against Aston Villa] and we are sitting here going, ‘for the England team, surely he has got to play centrally?’

“This is the common debate at the moment: Where do you play Phil Foden to get the best out of him?

“These actions here tell you everything you need to know. Get these clips up to Gareth and say, ‘who else is doing this?'”

Foden has scored 21 times this season and contributed ten assists

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Foden has scored 21 times this season and contributed ten assistsCredit: Getty
The youngster is hitting fine form ahead of Euro 2024 but where will he play for England?

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The youngster is hitting fine form ahead of Euro 2024 but where will he play for England?Credit: Getty

England fans have been questioning what the nation’s best XI is ahead of the European Championship this summer, with the Three Lions kickstarting their competition on June 16.

The debate rages on over whether Jude Bellingham should start in a more advanced role and who will be deployed on the flanks.

But Foden has insisted he is happy to play as long as it is in an attacking role, saying on Wednesday night: “I see myself as a really technical player in the pockets.

“Out wide I think I can do that job but I think I prefer to do it in the middle. This year I am growing into the game.

Will Foden's masterclass for Man City change Southgate's stance?

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Will Foden’s masterclass for Man City change Southgate’s stance?Credit: Getty
It was a complete performance by Foden on Wednesday night

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It was a complete performance by Foden on Wednesday night

“The manager spoke on showing rhythm and slowing the game down so I think I have added that to my game as well.

“Before I was going so quickly, attacking every action. I think now I am getting the balance just right.

“I always try to arrive in the box, that is where the goals are. You get at least five a season arriving in the box late.

“I’ve been working on all aspects of my game in midfield, but like I said still a lot to improve on and I’m still growing in that position.”



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