Southgate: Iceland incident in the past – now Foden must show talent


areth Southgate has challenged Phil Foden to “show everybody what he can do” as the midfielder aims to put being sent home from Iceland in disgrace behind him.

Foden was sent home from Reykjavik in September after making his England debut when it was discovered he and Manchester United forward Mason Greenwood had broken coronavirus protocols by inviting two women back to the team hotel.  

The pair were subsequently dropped for England’s matches in October, but Foden was recalled by Southgate for this month’s games.

The 20-year-old came off the bench against the Republic of Ireland last week and is expected to start tonight’s Nations League dead rubber against Iceland, with Southgate urging him to seize the opportunity to shine.

“It has been good to have him back this week,” Southgate said. “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.”

Southgate insists there is no animosity between him and Foden over what happened in Iceland in September, and the incident is now in the past as they look to move forward.

“I made sure we chatted on the first day and put that behind us immediately,” Southgate added.  

“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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