Danny Mills is concerned Phil Foden and Jude Bellingham cannot play together.
Speaking ahead of this summer’s European Championship, Mills heaped the praise on Foden after the attacking midfielder single-handedly fired Manchester City to an important 3-1 comeback win over Brentford during Monday night’s Premier League clash at the Community Stadium.
Trailing 1-0 for the majority of the first half after Neal Maupay beat Ederson to open the scoring, City, thanks to an inspired hattrick from Foden, came roaring back to take all three points and leapfrog Arsenal to move up to second in the table.
However, despite Foden’s impressive individual performance last night, Mills isn’t sure how Gareth Southgate can fit him into his England squad.
Proving he is one of Real Madrid’s most devastating attackers after scoring 18 goals in 28 games already this season, Jude Bellingham, assuming he doesn’t pick up an injury, is certain to start for England at the Euros. What that could mean for Foden remains unknown though.
The 23-year-old is one of Pep Guardiola’s most versatile attackers; he can play centrally, as well as on either flank. However, with Southgate blessed with multiple attacking options, particularly wingers, including Bukayo Saka, Marcus Rashford and Jack Grealish, it could be detrimental to the team if Foden, arguably best as a fluid number 10, is positioned out wide.
“It’s difficult sometimes to fit your best players into one team,” Mills told Sky Sports.
“I like him [Foden] off the left sometimes, but I don’t think that’s his best position.
“[…] Playing in that midfielder area where he’s almost got that freedom, the license to go and play how he wants. The old-fashioned role, back in the day, would have suited him perfectly as the number 10 where you were effectively given a free role behind the striker; just go and play. You’ve got your two midfielder players and one in front of that — it’s a free role. That doesn’t happen too often in modern-day football.
“That’s the difficulty he [Southgate] has got — finding that position [for Foden]. Manchester City don’t need to build a team around him, they have too many good players and he can play in too many positions, but when it comes to England, can you afford to play Jude Bellingham and Phil Foden as two number 10s? — I think that’s very hard to do.”