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Rio Ferdinand 'doesn't understand' Gareth Southgate's use of one England player ahead of Euro 2024

Rio Ferdinand 'doesn't understand' Gareth Southgate's use of one England player ahead of Euro 2024

Ferdinand didn't hold back.

Rio Ferdinand says he 'doesn't understand' Gareth Southgate's use of one of England's most talented players.

With Euro 2024 less than three months away, football fans across the country are making their arguments for who should be in England's starting XI.

Gareth Southgate has plenty of top talents at his disposal, so many in fact that it's difficult to fit them all into his team.

One area of the pitch England are well-equipped in is midfield, with Jude Bellingham and Declan Rice nailed-on starters.

In recent years Kalvin Phillips has partnered Rice in the centre of the park, but his poor form over the last two years and omissions from recent squads has opened a vacancy.

Southgate has been reluctant to play Manchester City star Phil Foden in attacking midfield, and former England defender Rio Ferdinand just can't understand why.

"If he was playing centrally for England, that would be the strongest part of that team," Ferdinand said on Vibe with FIVE.

"Him playing alongside someone like Bellingham, they would find a way to make that work – them and Declan Rice.

"Putting him out on the left, on his own, isolated half the time – or the right – he’s not going to get into the feel of the game. "What we’ve been seeing this year, at City, has been him in central areas where he’s involved in the heartbeat of the game constantly.

Foden has enjoyed a superb season with Man City (Getty)
Foden has enjoyed a superb season with Man City (Getty)

"I’m just thinking as a manager, if you’re seeing that, how does that not translate to your England team? I don’t understand."

Foden is enjoying a superb season, scoring seven goals and providing four assists in 11 starts in a central role.

He has hit the same numbers when starting on the wing, but over 20 starts instead.

"Gareth Southgate said once that he [Foden] isn’t playing central for his club so he can’t pick him. But he’s played central for his club this season and been arguably one of the best players in the league," Ferdinand continued.

"If Gareth has been to those games and seen the way Phil Foden has played in central areas, how is he not thinking that he just has to get him in the team and play him in there [centrally].

"Because the kid is doing it at the best team in Europe."

Featured Image Credit: Getty

Topics: Phil Foden, England, Gareth Southgate, Manchester City, Premier League, Football