Phil Foden leaves England camp due to 'family matter' to hand Anthony Gordon starting opportunity

Phil Foden has left England's Euro 2024 camp in Germany to fly home for a 'pressing family matter', the English Football Association has confirmed. The Manchester City star has started all three of England's games so far, being deployed on the left of Gareth Southgate's front three.

Foden has jetted home just days before the Three Lions' first knockout game, which isn't ideal preparation as England look to progress deep into the tournament. Should the 24-year-old not return to the tournament before the weekend, his place in the starting XI could be filled by Newcastle United's Anthony Gordon.

“Phil Foden has temporarily left the England camp and returned to the UK for a pressing family matter," an FA statement confirmed on Wednesday afternoon.

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Foden's inclusion on the left-hand side of England's attack has caused controversy as Southgate's side limped through their group with one win, two draws and only two goals scored. Kieran Trippier, deployed as a makeshift left-back due to an injury to Luke Shaw, has struggled to get going with Foden in front of him in the side.

As such, calls for Gordon's inclusion have only grown - both on Tyneside and across the country. The Magpies star was given just a few minutes on the pitch in Tuesday's drab 0-0 draw with Slovenia but impressed during his brief cameo.

Fans may now get their wish to see Gordon from the outset this weekend. The player himself certainly wants a chance to showcase his talent on the world stage.

Speaking to the BBC afterwards, Gordon said: "It's frustrating because I want to play. I think every player here does. It's difficult because you've got so many good players.

"But watching from the sideline at any game, at any level, is hard. You just want to come on the pitch because you feel you can make an impact. I felt I did when I came on. I tried to get at people and be direct and cause problems in the few minutes I got. And I'll always try and do that."

England's round of 16 clash will take place one of the best third-placed finishers from Groups D, E, or F in Gelsenkirchen on Sunday at 5pm.