LNTUP

Phil Foden To Be Called Up For The Under 21 World Cup

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Phil Foden, English football’s rising star, will be considered for a first Under-21 call-up in the new year as the FA looks to map out his international development.

The Manchester City midfielder launched himself into the thoughts of the nation after the instrumental role he played in helping the Under-17s win the World Cup last month, scoring two goals in the final against Spain.

Aidy Boothroyd, the Under-21 head coach, gave thought to taking Foden to Ukraine last week for England’s Euro 2019 qualifier but was conscious of not over-exerting the 17-year-old following his efforts in India and he stayed with City.

When England stage the return fixture against Ukraine next March, though, there is a strong possibility Foden will be elevated into the Under-21 squad; England will also play a friendly in the next international break.

Plans will be formalised in early 2018 after all the coaches of the age group teams, plus senior head coach Gareth Southgate and Technical Director Dan Ashworth, meet at St George’s Park to work out the best path for talents such as Foden going forward.

‘We will audit our players in January,’ Boothroyd said. ‘All the coaches sit down and go through all the players in all the age groups and we decide who needs to be moved up and who needs to be moved down.

‘It might well be a couple from the U17s have earned the right to come with us and they do move up.’

‘The good things is there are players in every single age group who feel they have got half a chance of jumping to the next level.’

‘I like Phil a lot. I think he is a very special player. But I can say that about a number of players in our teams. They are all at different stages and the main thing is we sit down and discuss each properly so we can give them a proper pathway, not just flick a coin.’