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Latest football news & reaction, plus Champions League build-up

‘Most naturally gifted footballer by a mile’published at 13:43 6 March

Image source, Getty Images

Phil Foden has been dividing opinions lately, he’s starring for Manchester City but does he get straight into Gareth Southgate’s starting XI at Euro 2024?

The City academy graduate scored twice in Sunday’s derby to help his side to a 3-1 win over Manchester United at Etihad Stadium.

There was an interesting exchange (below) between Fulham midfielder Tom Cairney and West Ham forward Michail Antonio on the latest episode of the Footballer’s Football podcast.

Cairney: “He’s England’s most naturally gifted footballer by a mile, in my opinion. He wants to play in the middle for England, it’s quite obvious. Whether they do that, I’m not so sure. On the weekend, he was the best player on the pitch by a mile. Energy, goal-threat, everything you want to see really. I think he’s been the best player in the Premier League this season.”

Antonio: “I agree, but I don’t think he starts for England. We know Gareth Southgate’s XI. He has his formation. I’m pretty sure it’s 4-5-1. Two sitters, a ten, two wide men, Harry Kane.”

Cairney: “Are you taking out Bellingham for Phil Foden?

Antonio: “No”

Cairney: “Foden wouldn’t start on the right in front of Saka?”

Antonio: “No”

Cairney: “Don’t you think any other country would worship him more? If he was Spanish, he’s playing in the middle.”

Antonio: “The only space available is on the wide left. Could you really pull Bellingham out of what he’s been doing at Real Madrid and put him in the eight?”

Cairney: “No. You’d have to be brave.”

You can listen to the full podcast here.