Foden recalled by England but Greenwood yet to return

Manchester City midfielder Phil Foden has been recalled for England’s tripleheader of matches this month but Manchester United forward Mason Greenwood remains out of the squad.The duo made their debuts in September’s Nations League game against Iceland before being sent home from Reykjavik for breaching UEFA’s biosecure coronavirus bubble rules by meeting women at the team hotel.

They were left out of the squad for games in October as punishment.

Foden has since scored three times in six Premier League games and was recalled by Southgate as England faces Ireland in a friendly next Thursday, before heading to Belgium and welcoming Iceland to London as the Nations League group concludes.

But there is no space for Greenwood despite Southampton striker Danny Ings being injured.

“We are looking at the balance of the squad positionally firstly,” Southgate said on Thursday. “Phil has had a lot of football with his club most recently and Mason has had less game time with United.

“I have had a good chat with (United manager) Ole (Gunnar Solskjaer) about his development and I feel it is better for him to stay at the club at the moment, to develop over the next few months. But they are both available, there was no carryover from September, that is done. Both are available for selection and are going to be very good players.”

United goalkeeper Dean Henderson is the only player in Southgate’s 29-man squad who has yet to play for England.

Southgate hopes the England matches can help lift spirits during a second national lockdown which began on Thursday.

“Everybody has recognized the opportunity to provide entertainment for people, to show some signs that something close to normality can take place, to give hope to people really,” Southgate said.

“We have huge sympathy with people who are not able to carry out their businesses at this time. We know how difficult that is for everybody as a nation. Again, we have got to recognize the privilege we have got to do our job.”

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