England vs Iceland: Gareth Southgate cleared air with Phil Foden at start of camp following midfielder’s rule-breach

Foden was called up to the Three Lions’ senior side for the first time two months ago when the international calendar got under way with a series of Nations League matches.

And the young Manchester City midfielder made his debut in England’s first match of a double-header against Iceland, as did Man United’s Mason Greenwood, but Foden and the 19-year-old striker were quickly sent home after they beached the anti-coronavirus bio bubble in Reykjavik.

They were left out of October’s fixtures as punishment, but Foden returned to the fold for this month’s triple-header and, having come off the bench against the Republic of Ireland, is set to feature in the Nations League against Iceland on Wednesday.

“It has been good to have him back this week,” the England boss said of the 2017 Under-17 World Cup Golden Ball winner.

“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 stressed at this month’s squad announcement that there would be “no sort of carry-over from what happened” during Foden’s previous senior involvement – something he underlined to the 20-year-old.

“I made sure we chatted on the first day and put that behind us immediately,” the Three Lions boss said.

“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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