Gareth Southgate has reaffirmed his “belief” in Mason Greenwood despite leaving the Manchester United forward out of his latest England squad.
Greenwood, 19, will play no part in the Three Lions’ upcoming friendly with the Republic of Ireland or the Nations League clashes with Belgium and Iceland.
The pair were believed to have been omitted from the squad for England’s October fixtures as a punishment for their actions, before returning to the fold for this month’s games.
But Southgate had no room for Greenwood – who has scored two goals this season – in his 29-man group, citing a lack of game time.
“The first thing is we’ve got huge belief in him as a young player, he’s on an incredible trajectory for someone so young,” said the England boss. “This will be a small disappointment for him but there’s a huge amount of time ahead for him.
“He’s an outstanding finisher and he’s an outstanding goalscorer but over the last number of months he’s not had a huge amount of football.
“That’s going to happen, it’s a very long season and he had a very short break end of last season as well.
Should Southgate have included Greenwood in his England squad? Have your say here.
It has been a hectic season so far – so make sure you don’t miss a single thing by signing up for the brilliant new Mirror Football newsletter!
All the latest transfer news and big stories will land straight into your inbox. You won’t miss out.
To sign up, put your email at the top of this article or follow the instructions on this link.
“He will be resilient enough he’s at a club that cares for young players very well and who have managed his trajectory very well and will continue to do that.
“I’ve spoken with Ole [Gunnar Solskjaer] on that and we are aligned on him being the best player he can be.”
Southgate was also asked why Foden had been included in the squad without Greenwood, to which he responded: “They don’t come as a pair. They’re individual players with their own strengths and talents.
“Firstly, we are looking at the balance of the squad positionally. Phil has had quite a lot of football with his club recently and Mason has had less game time with United.
“I’ve had a good chat with Ole [Gunnar Solskjaer] about his development. I feel it’s better for him to stay with the club at the moment and to develop over the next few months.
“There’s no carry-over with what happened in September. That’s done. They were both available for selection and both are going to be very good players. There’s no doubt about that.”
Sign up to the Mirror Football email here for the latest news and transfer gossip.