Come on Gareth let Phil Foden play before it’s too late

After watching England meander through their 3 Group C games at Euro 24 and to a nil-all draw with Slovenia last night one thing has become apparent. It’s time Gareth Southgate took the handbrake off Phil Foden and his team. In the case of Foden, it’s apparent that his talent is being wasted by his manager so far at the tournament.

Heading into the tournament it appeared that Phil Foden was set to be one of the stars of the European Championships. He headed into the tournament as the FWA Men’s Footballer of the Year and the Premier League Player of the Season. Foden was instrumental in Manchester City’s successful 23/24 season. He scored 27 goals and added 12 assists as he took his game to a new level. City’s Wonder Boy became Pep Guardiola’s side’s main man across the season. It appeared that he was primed to dominate the European Championships. But that hasn’t proven to be the case.

Unfortunately for Foden, he has played primarily on the left wing for England. It isn’t his natural position. Nor is it his favoured position. Playing on the left and coupled with Gareth Southgate’s pragmatic approach it has resulted in a quiet tournament to date for Phil Foden. There have been flashes of quality from Foden but nowhere near the level he regularly displays for Manchester City. This tournament promised to be Foden’s break-out international occasion. Instead, it has been anything but due to Gareth Southgate’s approach.

READ MORE: Which Manchester City players could steal the show at Euro 24?

It appears obvious that Foden should be playing a more central role for England. He showed throughout the 23/24 season for Manchester City that he is one of the world’s best players in that role. A possible combination of Declan Rice, Jude Bellingham and Phil Foden in midfield would undoubtedly make England a more attacking team. It would also allow Foden to do what he does best. But it remains to be seen if Gareth Southgate will go down this route. As the stakes rise when the knockout stages of Euro 24 begin it appears doubtful that Southgate will unleash Foden properly. That is a real shame considering what the possibilities could be if he was allowed to do what he does best.

But from a Manchester City point of view if Foden comes back empty-handed from a disappointing Euro 24 he may be hungry to take his game a step further next season. That would be to City’s gain if it proves to be the case. The answer to that question won’t be known for several weeks yet. But it has been a real shame to see arguably the Premier League’s best player wasted in England’s system. But surely it’s time Gareth Southgate took the handbrake off Phil Foden and his team before it’s too late for England?

Tags Declan Rice England Euro 24 European Championships Gareth Southgate Jude Bellingham Manchester City Pep Guardiola Phil Foden