Major Anthony Gordon compliment paid as Phil Foden question put to England boss Gareth Southgate

Anthony Gordon is in the provisional England squad for Euro 2024 but the Newcastle United flyer's participation in the opening game of the tournament remains up in the air as he recovers from an Achilles problem.

Gordon is expected to make Gareth Southgate's final 26-man squad for the Germany showpiece next month, with the England boss set to axe seven names who made it into his provisional selection. The Newcastle winger has had a stellar campaign at club level, with a combined 21 goals and assists in the Premier League, and also impressed for the Three Lions back in March.

With Bukayo Saka occupying the right wing, Harry Kane through the middle and Jude Bellingham deployed in behind as a No 10, Manchester City superstar Phil Foden looks like he may be deployed slightly out of position out on the left - the very position Gordon wants for himself.

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At Southgate's provisional squad press conference, Gordon was paid the ultimate compliment when the England boss was asked whether Premier League Player of the Season Foden would be starting on the left, or whether the Newcastle ace would be given the nod from the outset instead.

"Well Anthony has missed the last game with an injury so there's where we are with that," Southgate responded. “The key with Phil is where he ends up, not his starting position. He’s been allowed to drift for Manchester City.

"It’s where these players arrive and where they are allowed to drift to. We never pin these forwards to the touchline. There is this freedom. You want Phil in those central areas, as you want with two or three others”.

Marcus Rashford has been left out of the squad following a poor season at Manchester United. Jack Grealish, Foden's Manchester City team-mate, has been included, however. Kane, Saka, Jarrod Bowen, Eberechi Eze, James Maddison, Cole Palmer, Ivan Toney and Ollie Watkins have also been selected.

Southgate subsequently has a decision to make regarding which attacking options are culled before the tournament gets under way in mid-June.

“There’s definitely much more attacking options than compared to other squads [in the past]," the England boss added. "There’s a lot of tournament experience now, even with our younger players.

"We’re really happy with where the squad is at. But everything starts from zero. It doesn’t matter what we’ve done in the past.”