Where should Phil Foden play for England after his move from Man City?

Phil Foden played in the absence of Erling Haaland (Getty Images)

Phil Foden’s hat-trick against Aston Villa on April 3 might be looked back on as a highlight for the Manchester City player.

Long thought of as an understudy to the likes of Kevin De Bruyne and Erling Haaland, then he shone in their absence, with a swagger and confidence that England fans have been waiting for. Not even Wayne Rooney had three Premier League caps to his name before the age of 24.

Foden will no doubt be included in Gareth Southgate’s squad for the upcoming Euro 2024, but questions remain over whether he will play.

Here The Independent’s sports team looks at where they think the England manager should employ one of his key weapons.

Phil Foden was the player of the season (Getty Images)Phil Foden was the player of the season (Getty Images)

Phil Foden was the player of the season (Getty Images)

Miguel Delaney (Chief Football Writer): As great as Phil Foden is, the real issue with England is that he is best in the area where Harry Kane – and now more and more, Jude Bellingham – hits. So while you’d ideally have Foden as a fluid playmaker, Gareth Southgate’s system is unlikely. But you obviously have to start now – which probably means a wide forward or midfield position. Whether either maximizes this incredible level of performance remains to be seen.

Richard Jolly (Senior Football Correspondent): On the left – straight through a process of elimination, with Jude Bellingham operating as a Number 10, Bukayo Saka on the right, Harry Kane under attack and the need for someone alongside Declan Rice; Many people like the idea of ​​a central trio of Rice, Bellingham and Foden, which is probably unrealistic against better opposition and would force the latter pair to play too much defense, taking away from their strengths.

Jack Rathborn (Sports Editor): The temptation now is to move Phil Foden into the middle, perhaps even alongside Jude Bellingham. But that would expose Declan Rice, as both No8s and No10s, or deprive England of real width if Foden and Bellingham were given free roles behind Harry Kane. It’s a problem Gareth Southgate could be trying to solve with Foden getting 20 yards from goal and between the posts, but there probably won’t be enough time for him to be sure. Bellingham, still, offers as much upside in that role and a smaller version of the Foden who blindsided Manchester City against Aston Villa would still give England a cutting edge from the left alongside the pace of Bukayo Saka from the right. Perhaps Foden’s form and this debate highlight the real dilemma for Southgate: Who will work alongside Rice and provide the balance England’s superstars need to make a difference in the final third?

Where should Phil Foden play for England (The FA via Getty Images)Where should Phil Foden play for England (The FA via Getty Images)

Where should Phil Foden play for England (The FA via Getty Images)

Alex Pattle (Sports Reporter): I have long been a supporter of Foden as a No.10, with his performance against Villa showing all the qualities that make him a great fit. That said, Jude Bellingham is an exciting No 10 option behind Harry Kane if Foden is to remain for England. I’d be quite happy with that – Foden just needs to be on the pitch, to be honest – but England’s lack of defensive midfielders leaves me leaning towards Bellingham playing deeper, Foden as a 10. That leaves the left wing open, so perhaps we have to hope that Marcus Rashford will be able to go into the Euros in good form.

Jamie Braidwood (Sports Reporter): I would start Foden on the left wing, with Jude Bellingham at 10 and Bukayo Saka on the right. With an attacking left-back providing natural width in either Ben Chilwell or, if fit, Luke Shaw would allow Foden to flow inside and combine in central areas with Bellingham and Harry Kane, and allow him to take up the positions. disastrous against Aston Villa on Wednesday night.

Foden’s performance against Belgium last month was an example of how this could work and his partnership with Bellingham looked extremely promising from an England perspective. Gareth Southgate has the pieces to take over a 3-2-4-1 structure, with Foden and Bellingham key as two 10s.

Sonia Twigg (Sports Reporter): Despite Foden’s quality, he might be better suited to play behind Harry Kane, although Jude Bellingham is arguably a better fit. That leaves space on the left, unless Gareth Southgate is willing to change his system, which is unlikely. So I see him playing straight from the left side, albeit mostly through a process of elimination and the ability of Bellingham and Kane.

Luke Baker (Live Sports Editor): Given all the options available to England, I think Foden must start on the left, with Bukayo Saka on the right and Jude Bellingham in the No. 10. Then Declan Rice and ideally Trent Alexander-Arnold or Kobbie Mainoo (but let’s be honest, it will be Jordan Henderson) as the midfield duo behind him. England’s most likely route to Euro glory is Bellingham going into the tournament and seriously pushing himself into the ‘best player in the world’ conversation, which is most likely to happen if it plays a more advanced role rather than. being mistaken as part of a double pivot alongside Rice. So Foden – who was electric for Man City but still has questions to answer in an England shirt – moves out wide, where he can still be extremely effective drifting inside. It is expected that there will be a level of volatility between him and Bellingham where he will still be able to take on a more traditional role as a Number 10 at points in the game anyway.

Kieran Jackson (Sports Reporter): Tricky decision, but Jude Bellingham has to be the No. 1 priority. 10. The Real Madrid lit up LaLiga midfielder is playing beyond the traditional No 8 role he featured in at the World Cup and should, on balance, be used behind Harry Kane in Germany. As a result, certain starters switch Foden out to the left with Bukayo Saka to the right, although I think the two could swap wings at various points during each game. If Saka is at all rested or injured, Foden should definitely be used on the right, cutting into that left-footed stick.

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