GARETH SOUTHGATE has hinted Phil Foden’s World Cup chance could come in England’s final Group B World Cup game against Wales.
The Three Lions boss left 22-year-old Foden on the bench in the 0-0 draw with USA and opted for Jordan Henderson instead – a heavily criticized decision.
Jack Grealish and Marcus Rashford were also favorite attacking options off the bench.
But ahead of England’s final group game against Wales, Southgate has hinted he could unleash Foden.
Southgate told ITV: “We love Phil, he’s a superb player.
“He was in the first game, we decided not to put him in the second.
“But he will play an important role for us in this tournament, there is no question about that.
“We don’t have a problem with Phil. In September he started both games for us and we put him in the game against Iran.
“We made the decision to stay with this team and we felt the changes for the US called for something different.
“But we intend to be here for as long as possible. And he’s a great player and we think the whole world about him. And he’s going to play a big role.”
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“He can play on both wings. He can play as a false nine.
“He can play behind a striker, he doesn’t do that very often for his club.
“He works hard for the team and obviously has fabulous technical skills.”
Foden came on as a second-half substitute in England’s group-opener win over Iran, which saw the Three Lions score the Middle Eastern country six goals.
Southgate is not expected to make any major changes to the team that started against the USA, despite being advised to rest star men Harry Kane and Jude Bellingham.
Regarding possible changes, he said: “We’ll see. We want to win football games and try to lead the group when we can.
“So we have to make sure we have some consistency in what we’re doing and that our performances are healthy.
“There’s always a balance of finding playing time for players. But the priority is to win games, we have to win football games.
“We will play against a team that is injured. They will be very motivated to beat us.
“We have to be tactically correct and find our best level.
“We have to make sure we’re composed, but also that we’re playing with real attacking power.”
Iran or the USA have a chance to overtake England at the top if Wales wins or gives the Three Lions a draw.
The goal difference is not in the Dragons’ favour, meaning their chances of reaching the knockout rounds are slim as they have drawn and lost in their first two games.
https://www.the-sun.com/sport/6782824/gareth-southgate-england-world-cup-phil-foden-hint-wales/ Gareth Southgate gives HUGE hint Phil Foden will play in final group game between England and Wales after USA missed out on draw