Gareth Southgate has raised doubts over Phil Foden’s current suitability to play in a central area for England.
The 23-year-old is one of the most precocious talents around but, as the player admits himself, has yet to take his form with Manchester City onto the international stage.
Foden has scored three times in 26 appearances for England and said in March that ‘hopefully I can adapt and become a midfielder’, stating ‘that’s my aim’.
Asked if he could deploy the City star in a midfield three rather than wide in big international games, Southgate said: “Well, he doesn’t for his club, so presumably there’s a reason for that.
“It depends on the level of the game, really. Obviously in the middle of the park everybody wants to talk about them with the ball, but there’s a lot of detail without the ball.
“In games like at the weekend (against Ukraine), you’re playing opponents that are so clever with their passing and movement that you’ve really got to be spot on with pressing angles, your responsibilities.
“If you don’t, then you don’t have the flow of the game, you don’t get the flow of the game.
“You’d have to speak with Pep (Guardiola), the best coach in the world, who plays him from wide.
“He’s always got the freedom to drift if we play him wide and that’s important.”