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Phil Foden complicates Gareth Southgate’s England thoughts for Slovakia clash at Euro 2024 with new development on camp exit



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Manchester City forward Phil Foden may have further complicated England’s line-up plans for their European Championship last-16 showdown on Sunday evening.

Gareth Southgate’s squad progressed through their group with relative difficulty earlier this week, recording two draws and a victory over Serbia, with the stalemates coming against Denmark and Slovenia.

The Premier League Player of the Season for the most-recent campaign, Phil Foden has featured in all three of England’s matches so far, but operated on the left-side of a front-three – a role he has not taken up regularly for his club side since 2020/21.

As such, Foden has endured difficulties to impact matches in the same way that he has done of late for the Premier League champions, whilst Gareth Southgate has remained positive about the role undertaken by the City Academy graduate.

However, Foden’s hopes of starting a fourth successive game were thrown into doubt earlier this week following a surprise return to the United Kingdom and temporary exit from England’s training base at the tournament.

As reported by MailSport on Thursday, Manchester City’s Phil Foden has now returned to England’s training camp at the ongoing European Championships after attending the birth of his third baby.

The Football Association confirmed on Wednesday that Gareth Southgate’s mainstay left-sided forward had been granted permission to temporarily exit the squad in Germany to return to the UK for a ‘pressing family matter’, boarding a plane after Tuesday’s draw against Slovenia.

Phil Foden’s partner Rebecca Cooke has had a baby boy and the 24-year-old is now due to return to Euro 2024 in Germany with hope that he can train in some capacity at the team’s Weimar base on Friday.

It remains to be seen whether Gareth Southgate will opt to remain with Foden on the left of his attack on Sunday evening against Slovakia, with Anthony Gordon and Cole Palmer impressing onlookers during their involvement against Slovenia this week.

Kobbie Mainoo is expected to come into the side having had a big impact on the way England played during the second-half of their matchday three game at Euro 2024. Manchester City’s Kyle Walker and John Stones are likely to start.

England’s path to a potential European Championship final has been revealed too this week, with the Three Lions avoiding Spain, Germany, and France through their first-place finish in their group, whilst Austria, Switzerland, and Italy remain their toughest potential opponents.