LONDON – Manchester City midfielder Phil Foden was on Thursday (Nov 5) recalled to the England squad for their forthcoming matches but Manchester United forward Mason Greenwood remains in exile after the pair’s coronavirus protocol breach.
Foden and Greenwood were sent home in disgrace after inviting local women into the bio-secure England team hotel following their international debuts in September’s Nations League clash against Iceland in Reykjavik.
England coach Gareth Southgate left the youngsters out of his squad for October’s matches as punishment and branded their behaviour in the midst of the pandemic as “unacceptable”.
But Foden has since scored three times in six Premier League games, catching the eye with his impressive form for City.
The 20-year-old was rewarded with a recall by Southgate ahead of next week’s friendly against the Republic of Ireland and the Nations League matches against Belgium and Iceland.
Greenwood was not so fortunate and the 19-year-old once again missed out on a place in the squad, despite the absence of injured Southampton striker Danny Ings.
Manchester City forward Raheem Sterling was recalled as expected after missing the October international break due to a minor hamstring injury.
Manchester United keeper Dean Henderson is the only uncapped player in Southgate’s 29-man squad, with Jordan Pickford selected despite his ongoing inconsistent form for Everton, which led to Robin Olsen replacing him in goal last weekend.
Chelsea right-back Reece James and Manchester United centre-back Harry Maguire are included after the pair were sent off as England lost 1-0 at home to Denmark in their previous match.
“Clearly managing the three games is a challenge, the friendly gives us another opportunity to find out about people, which we have done over the past few months,” Southgate said at a press conference.
“Some of those players have really grasped the opportunity and are pushing for a place in the starting XI.
“We are trying to balance not too big a squad on match days, but equally some boys would not normally have the opportunity to be with us.
“It is a good experience for us, we will learn a lot about the players and there are some good games to look forward to.”