Gareth Southgate felt his trust in youth paid dividends after watching his Three Lions youngsters guide England past Senegal and into the World Cup quarter-finals.

Nineteen-year-old Jude Bellingham provided steel and energy in midfield while Bukayo Saka and Phil Foden – selected ahead of Marcus Rashford and Jack Grealish – contributed the craft as England won 3-0 at Al Bayt Stadium.

The result sets up a mouthwatering quarter-final clash against defending champions France on Saturday.

Bellingham and 22-year-old Foden enjoyed assists for the first two England goals, scored by Jordan Henderson and Harry Kane, while 21-year-old Saka scored the third from another Foden cross.

It amounted to a satisfying night for manager Southgate, with Bellingham particularly catching the eye.

"I don't think we could have predicted how quickly he would mature, even in the last three months that's gone to another level," Southgate said of the Borussia Dortmund midfielder.

"We wanted to invest in young players on the basis that we felt they could be something special in the future. It's meant the likes of Bukayo has 20-odd caps already coming to a tournament like this, [Declan] Rice was in the squad at 19…

"You suffer a bit sometimes because they're not perfect when they come in. But you can see the mentality, and further down the line you get the kind of performances we are now getting. The three youngest players we felt had earned that trust in a game of this size, and they've shown great maturity and all contributed in their own way."

France will present an entirely different challenge to Senegal, and Southgate is a huge admirer of Didier Deschamps' side.

"It's the biggest test we could face," Southgate said. "They are world champions, have an incredible depth of talent and outstanding individual players that are very difficult to play against. It's a great challenge."

Kylian Mbappe scored twice in France's 3-1 victory over Poland earlier on Sunday to take his tally to five goals for the tournament, and he will be the man England have to pay the closest attention to.

Southgate said: "He's a world-class player, he's already delivered big moments in this tournament and other tournaments.

"They also have [Antoine] Griezmann who has played over 70 consecutive games for France, he's a phenomenal player, we know Olivier Giroud so well, and they have outstanding young midfield players.

"Everywhere you look in every age group, they have incredible depth in every position. It's a huge test but one we are looking forward to."

Senegal arrived in Qatar as African champions and with high hopes, but frequent lapses in concentration defensively have contributed to their exit.

Coach Aliou Cisse refused to criticise his players and instead highlighted the challenge they face in trying to bridge the gulf in quality to the best sides in the world.

He said: "We played a very good England team, you saw that, and we just weren't as good as we should have been.

"We were missing two or three players that could've made a difference. But you could see the difference in the teams tonight. We have worked hard to become the best team in Africa, but tonight we were playing one of the top five teams in the world and you could see the difference.

"We were 18th in the rankings before tonight and we were playing one of the big five, so it's an ongoing process."

Cisse agreed to add another year to his contract last month, extending it to 2024, but refused to discuss his future when asked.

"I don't want to talk about that," he said. "We've just lost a game, are knocked out of the tournament, and I will need to draw the lessons from this game. Currently, I am coach of this team, and we'll see what the future brings."

Jude Bellingham can be the best midfielder in world football after starring for England in their win over Senegal, says England team-mate Phil Foden.

The teenager helped steer the Three Lions out of a cagey start to emerge as comfortable winners in Sunday's World Cup last-16 tie, nabbing an assist in a 3-0 victory.

It is the latest assured turn from the Borussia Dortmund youngster, who has firmly staked his place in the heart of Gareth Southgate's side at Qatar 2022, helping them to a joint-record goal haul at a major tournament with 12.

But Foden, who bagged England's other two assists in Al Khor, feels the sky can be the limit for the 19-year-old after helping to set up a quarter-final clash with France.

"I don't want to big him up too much because he's still young," Foden told ITV. "But he's one of the most gifted players I've ever seen.

"I don't see a weakness in his game. I think he's got everything. I'm sure he's going to be the best midfielder in the world."

 

Captain Harry Kane, who ended his own tournament goal drought to add England's second, concurred with Foden's assessment, but also offered wider praise for the winger and fellow goalscorer Bukayo Saka too.

"They're brilliant," he added. "All three of them today, having a big part in the goals, that's what we need.

"We've got a great mixture of youth and experience now. Over the years, it's not been easy for England. Credit to the boys, our mentality was top, and we took our chances when they came."

However, Bellingham himself was quick to pay tribute to one of the squad's most senior faces in Jordan Henderson, after the Liverpool man converted the former's low ball for England's opener when under pressure.

"I saw some of the rubbish written about him playing today," Bellingham said. "It's ridiculous. He's so underrated technically. He delivered again in a big game with a goal.

"The first 35 minutes were tough. They were hard to get through, but the goal was really well worked. When I get into those areas, I'm always confident the boys around me will take up brilliant positions."

Bukayo Saka and Phil Foden have been chosen to support Harry Kane in England's World Cup last 16 clash with Senegal.

It means Marcus Rashford, the scorer of two goals in England's 3-0 win against Wales in their final group game, has to settle for a place on the bench alongside Jack Grealish. Raheem Sterling was unavailable as he is dealing with a family matter.

Jordan Henderson retains his place in midfield alongside Declan Rice, with Jude Bellingham continuing in a more advanced role.

Kyle Walker starts at right-back ahead of Kieran Trippier at Al Bayt Stadium.

Idrissa Gueye misses out for Senegal due to suspension.

Phil Foden is "disappointed" not to have made more starts in an "up and down" World Cup for the England attacking midfielder and hopes to play a big part against Senegal.

Foden made his first start of the tournament in a 3-0 win over Wales on Tuesday that sealed the Three Lions' place in the round of 16.

Gareth Southgate is facing a tough selection for the showdown with the Africa Cup of Nations champions at Al Bayt Stadium on Sunday, with Foden waiting to discover if he will keep his place in the team.

It has been a mixed World Cup for the Manchester City star, who hopes the best is yet to come

"It has been up and down," he told BBC TV. "[I am] disappointed not to start more games, but it is part of the tournament. I am a team player and when I get the opportunities I'll take them."

Foden added: "I had seen a lot of media attention towards me to start, it is hard to get away from that.

"There is a lot [of competition]. [Bukayo] Saka has done well and scored in the first game, [Marcus] Rashford has scored and did very well against Wales.

"Everyone is scoring and everyone has proved a point, so it will be a headache for Gareth to pick the team for the next game.

"[Scoring against Wales was] definitely up there for one of the best feelings in my career so far, a special moment.

"I think I have every chance to start the next match. I played well against Wales, but we will have to see what happens."

John Stones says he has never seen a young player as talented as Phil Foden, as Gareth Southgate weighs up whether to stick with the Manchester City man for England's World Cup last-16 clash with Senegal.

Foden was left out of England's line-up for their first two games in Qatar – a 6-2 thrashing of Iran and a goalless draw with the United States – but he got on the scoresheet after starting Tuesday's 3-0 win over Wales. 

He led his team-mates for expected goals (1.04 xG), shots in the Wales area (four) and crosses (five) last time out, and Foden's City colleague expects him to continue impressing.

"I've never seen anyone at that age like Phil, with his ability, his football knowledge, and his freedom in how he plays and how he expresses himself," Stones said on Friday.

"The ability he's got is frightening. I'm a huge fan of Phil, I'm lucky to get to play with him pretty much every day.

"I look forward to seeing what he can do and I love playing with him. I'm extremely lucky, City are extremely lucky, England as well, that we've got somebody like that. 

"I want to help him through whatever it might be, and make sure he gets what he needs on and off the pitch that allows him to go and play as he played the other night."

Foden faces stern competition for a place in England's frontline, with each of Raheem Sterling, Jack Grealish, Marcus Rashford and Bukayo Saka having scored in Qatar, and Stones does not envy Southgate's dilemma. 

"It's the hardest part of being a manager, choosing that starting eleven and knowing there's eleven happy players and the rest aren't," Stones added.

"We've got an incredible group here, and the boys who don't make the pitch or come on are very selfless and they put their own feelings aside for the group. 

"That's part of our success. I don't envy managers in general when they've got to make those decisions."

While England's tally of nine goals at this World Cup is the most they have scored in the group stages at a major tournament, back-to-back clean sheets also aided their bid to top Group B.

Stones' central defensive partner Harry Maguire has been heavily criticised after slipping down the pecking order at Manchester United, and the City man believes his response has been exemplary.

"Right from the first game, he's given the best response with what he's been doing. In all three games, he's been terrific," Stones said of Maguire. 

"Knowing what he's been going through and knowing the person he is, it speaks volumes about him to come through that and still believe in himself, like I believed in him and all his team-mates did.

"I think there was a lot of noise from outside which he's not listened to, and he's tried to improve and better himself, and he's come into this tournament and hit the ground running. That's great credit to him."

Phil Foden felt pressure to perform on his first World Cup start before experiencing "one of the best feelings" during England's 3-0 victory over Wales.

The Manchester City midfielder was included in the starting XI by Gareth Southgate, who was widely scrutinised for not introducing the 22-year-old as a substitute in the goalless draw with the United States.

Foden did not disappoint and drew the free-kick from which Marcus Rashford broke the deadlock, before doubling the Three Lions' lead by arriving at the far post to tuck away Harry Kane's inviting cross.

"It is hard not to hear what everyone is saying," he told England's official YouTube channel. "But at the same time, I try not to read too much and just try to be me and be humble and work hard.

"I felt a little bit of pressure going into the game to be honest because everyone was pushing for me to play. I just tried to remember to relax and play my own football.

"I was raring to get the start and thanks to Gareth, he started me against Wales. I thought that all the wingers had scored and 'when is it going to be my chance?' So, to get the opportunity to play in such a big game and to score was extra special.

"It was one of the best feelings I have ever had in my career. You could see by my celebration, it meant so much. I expect more from myself, I expect more goals, so to get in at the back post as a winger is what you always what to see."

After England progressed to the knockout stages as Group B winners, Foden will hope to retain his place for the last-16 tie against Senegal on Sunday and he feels the Three Lions' strength in depth will prove crucial as they aim to go deep in Qatar.

"You can see the balance right through the team, it is not just the attackers doing well, Harry Maguire and John Stones have done brilliantly defending as well, it is a full team effort," he said.

"A lot of different players have played, but every time they have put on the England shirt they have done the best they can. It is good to have that competition and everyone is ready to go – it’s important.

"To win a World Cup, you don't just have a strong XI, you have people that can come off the bench and change it, that's what we have here. We have so much talent on the bench, so it is important."

Luke Shaw challenged Marcus Rashford to match his "unplayable" display against Wales throughout the rest of England's World Cup campaign.

Rashford scored England's opener and their final goal in a 3-0 win over their British rivals at Ahmad bin Ali Stadium on Tuesday.

The victory sent England into the last 16 as Group B winners, and they will now face Senegal for a place in the quarter-finals.

Rashford, one of four new faces introduced by Gareth Southgate for the game, curled in a wonderful free-kick to break the deadlock early in the second half, before he doubled his tally with a low shot after a mazy run, with Wales goalkeeper Danny Ward allowing the ball through his legs.

After becoming the first Manchester United player to score three goals at a World Cup since Bobby Charlton in 1966, when England won the trophy, Rashford must now replicate that level of performance time and time again, according to his club-mate Shaw.

When asked by Stats Perform what he thought of Rashford's display, Shaw replied: "He's so good, the talent he's got, he can be unplayable. 

"I think he needs to deliver that every single game he plays. He's got the quality that can make a difference, he's an unbelievable player and one that can make the difference for us.

"Hopefully he can keep those standards high and keep doing it."

Rashford, who finished with six shots, only one fewer than the entire Wales team managed combined, had scored eight times in 19 appearances for United this season heading into the World Cup, and Shaw has full faith the 25-year-old will keep up his form.

"Very confident. I see it day in, day out – what he's doing, how he's training," Shaw added. "He took his chance, I think it was his time to start and for me he took his chance.

"He needs to keep the standards high now, because he's a really important player."

Phil Foden was a star of the show along with Rashford.

Having faced criticism from some quarters for not bringing the Manchester City youngster on against the United States last week, Southgate started Foden in place of Bukayo Saka.

While Foden took a while to get going, he clicked through the gears as the first half wore on and was on the end of a brilliant Harry Kane delivery to make it 2-0 just 98 seconds after Rashford's opener.

"Not just the ones that started today, you look at the bench and the quality we have, we have World Class players who if they're not starting can come on and change a game," Shaw said when asked if Foden could be decisive in pushing England deep into the tournament.

"Phil didn't get a chance against the USA but he came in and was the wonderful player we all know, getting on the ball, making things happen, scoring a very important goal at a crucial time and that’s what we want from all of them. We need them to be like that."

Rashford revealed after the match that he had recently suffered the loss of a friend, and Shaw – whose grandmother passed away shortly before the World Cup – explained the unique unity of the England camp had been crucial in helping him overcome the loss.

"One million per cent," Shaw said. "The togetherness is not something I've witnessed in a team before.

"Everyone is so close together, we get on so well and push each other every day to get better and keep the standards high. It brings everyone closer together."

Marcus Rashford has "massive ambitions" with England after his double downed Wales and sent the Three Lions into the World Cup's knockout stage as Group B winners.

Rashford took his goal tally in Qatar to three after a wonderful free-kick and brilliant individual effort helped Gareth Southgate's side book a last-16 data against Senegal with a 3-0 victory at the Ahmed bin Ali Stadium.

The forward, who became the first United player to score three times for the Three Lions at a World Cup since Bobby Charlton in 1966, hopes his team-mates can carry their momentum into that clash on Sunday.

"It's obviously a great feeling [to score two goals]," he told BBC Sport. "To be honest, we were a little bit disappointed as a team after the last game against the USA. I thought we could've played a lot better.

"The only way to bounce back from that is to have a good performance in your next game, and I thought we did that. The first half, we defended brilliantly, we didn't give them any opportunities.

"It was just about us killing the game off really and taking the chances when they came.

"I fancied [a free-kick] in the first half, but the one in the second half was in a better position. From there, it's just about being calm and trying to execute what you've practised in training. They don't go in often, but I'm pleased that it went in today.

"Moments like this - this is what I play football for - the biggest moments, the best moments. I'm really happy that we're going through to the next round.

"Hopefully, we can build on this performance because I still have massive ambitions for this team, and I think we can play even better than what we've shown today."

Player of the match Rashford was the subject of high praise from team-mate Jude Bellingham, who also highlighted Phil Foden after the Manchester City midfielder marked his first start at the finals with the second goal in Al Rayyan.

"We've got lots of depth in those attacking areas and whoever comes on always seem to make an impact," the Borussia Dortmund midfielder said. 

"Whether it's from the start or from the bench, the change of personnel doesn't really affect the style or performance of the team, which is quite rare. 

"I'm so happy for [Marcus], what a performance - he was brilliant. When he gets the ball and he's got that freedom to take people on.

"In a game like this, there's big pressure on a free-kick like that, and the way he's delivered is brilliant. He put us in a really good position for the rest of the match.

"I'm [also] really happy for Phil. He's had quite a bit of pressure on him the last few days, given all the attention. But he's just shown today how good he is again.

"What you saw in the first game was a really good attacking display. The second game, we defended our box really well and today, you got a mix of both.

"The aim coming this game was to make sure we tie them both up, and we did. It was a good performance from us."

Marcus Rashford and Phil Foden starred to send England through to the World Cup knockout stage as Group B winners after a 3-0 victory over Wales on Tuesday.

Victory sets up a last-16 clash with Group A runners-up Senegal on Sunday for England, while Wales crashed out in Qatar without a win for the first time in a major tournament.

Foden started at Ahmad bin Ali Stadium after being left out of the goalless draw with the United States on Friday and won the free-kick for Rashford to break the deadlock in the 50th minute.

Manchester City star Foden extended the lead just a minute later before Rashford doubled his account to eliminate an uninspiring Wales from Group B, in which the USA beat Iran to progress as runners-up.

Rashford spurned a glorious ninth-minute opportunity after being denied by the onrushing Danny Ward, who replaced the suspended Wayne Hennessey.

England continued to dominate possession without testing Ward often as Foden blasted over on the turn, while Joe Allen angled a rare Wales chance off target before the break.

A masterful Foden drive ended with an England free-kick in an inviting position before Rashford whipped into the top-right corner to beat an unsighted Ward.

Harry Kane drilled across the area from the right soon after for Foden to convert at the back post, before Jordan Pickford parried from Kieffer Moore to keep Wales at bay.

Ward was again beaten with somewhat ease as Rashford powered through the legs of the goalkeeper, who denied Jude Bellingham to keep the scoreline down late on.

What does it mean? England continue Wales dominance to book last-16 berth

The pressure ramped upon England after an underwhelming showing in the USA stalemate but Southgate's side responded well in their first World Cup meeting with a fellow British side.

England remained patient throughout and reaped well-deserved rewards in a rapid second-half opening to ensure a seventh straight victory over Wales, scoring 14 and conceding just one in that run.

Knockout football is where England have impressed in recent years and Southgate will know it is time to deliver again, while Wales head home after disappointing in just their second appearance in the tournament.

Rashford redemption

Rashford will have been frustrated to chip a presentable opening at the incoming Ward in what proved to be England's best first-half chance.

But the forward made amends after the interval with two goals, while recording game-leading figures for touches in the opposition box (eight), shots (six) and attempts on target (four) in an encouraging showing.

Bale missing on the world stage

Gareth Bale had the fewest touches of any Wales players to complete 90 minutes in both games against the USA and Iran, though a penalty in the first outing somewhat sheltered the Wales captain from criticism.

The 33-year-old was again largely a passenger in the Middle East against England, managing just four passes and seven touches – both the fewest of any player to start – before his half-time removal.

What's next?

England face Senegal in five days at Al-Bayt Stadium in Al Khor, while Wales will take time to reflect on an unsuccessful global campaign.

Harry Kane was named in England's starting XI for Tuesday's World Cup clash with Wales, with Phil Foden, Marcus Rashford and Kyle Walker also coming into the team.

Gareth Southgate gave little away on Monday when asked if Kane, who has been struggling with a foot injury, would feature from the off at Ahmad bin Ali Stadium.

England's progress from Group B would be assured with a point against Wales, who would need to win by at least three goals if they are to qualify, depending on the outcome of Iran v United States in the other match.

Kane has only scored three times in 10 games for England in 2022, with all those goals coming from the penalty spot. 

Southgate has made four changes from England's last game.

Foden did not come on in the goalless draw with the USA, with Southgate's decision not to call on the Manchester City star drawing criticism from some quarters, but the youngster has replaced Bukayo Saka, while Sterling has made way for Rashford.

Kyle Walker, meanwhile, makes his first start of the tournament, with the full-back having recovered from a groin injury he suffered in October, and Jordan Henderson got the nod over Mason Mount.

Wales boss Rob Page, meanwhile, has made three changes from the side he started in the 2-0 defeat to Iran.

Goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey was sent off in that match and has been replaced by Leicester City's Danny Ward.

Midfielder Joe Allen and Fulham winger Dan James also came in for the Dragons, with Connor Roberts and Harry Wilson dropping to the bench.

Jack Grealish insists Gareth Southgate does not have a problem with any member of the England squad as he responded to claims made by former defender Gary Neville.

England manager Southgate was criticised by many, including Neville, for not bringing on midfielder Phil Foden during Friday's goalless World Cup draw with the United States.

Speaking in his role as a pundit for ITV, Neville – capped 85 times by England – said: "Phil Foden is a generational talent that I feel as though he has to play.

"He has to be played into form, and it has to work with England. I went through my career with England where there were times Paul Scholes was mishandled.

"I even woke up this morning thinking, 'has something happened in training? Has something happened off the pitch which has meant Gareth hasn't seen what he wants to see?'."

However, Grealish denies Southgate has any issues with individuals, having himself been in a similar position to Foden at Euro 2020 when struggling for minutes.

"If he did have a problem they'd know about it," he told BBC Sport. "I saw something, it might have been Gary Neville saying there's something going on behind the scenes.

"People always used to say 'he's got a problem with Jack' last year or two years ago and then I come on and it's like, 'he likes Jack now, who's it next?'.

"Then it's that he doesn't like Madders [James Maddison] and now he's in. Phil didn't play so he might have a problem with him. He doesn't have a problem with anyone.

"He speaks to all of us the same. Phil didn't play the other night but he's still the same with Phil as he is with me or Harry Kane – he's not got a problem with anyone."

England beat Iran 6-2 to make their best start to a World Cup campaign before underwhelming in their stalemate with the USA.

With four points from two matches, Southgate's side will advance to the last 16 if they avoid a four-goal defeat to Wales at Ahmed bin Ali Stadium on Tuesday.

That has not stopped Southgate being criticised for his team selection, but Grealish added: "Sometimes I just think whatever happens with England there's always something. 

"We scored six and we were the best thing since sliced bread and then we didn't score for 90 minutes and it's the end of the world. We're top of the group, it's in our hands."

Gareth Southgate says Phil Foden will "play a big part" in the remainder of England's World Cup campaign, despite the midfielder's limited playing time so far.

Foden came on for the final 19 minutes of England's 6-2 win over Iran in their Group B opener and was an unused substitute in the goalless draw with the United States.

Southgate was criticised for not turning to the Manchester City star during a poor display from the Three Lions against the USA.

The England manager defended his decision after the drab stalemate, but Foden now looks set to play a more prominent role, possibly starting with Tuesday's clash against Wales.

"We love Phil, he's a super player," Southgate told BBC Sport. "He's going to play a big part in this tournament for us.

"Phil's mentality to training and the way he's approaching everything is excellent."

Foden has played 20 matches for City this season – only Joao Cancelo (21) and Bernardo Silva (22) have featured more regularly under Pep Guardiola this term.

He has scored eight times and assisted a further three goals, and Southgate has talked up the 22-year-old's versatility in midfield and attack.

"There are different possibilities. He can play on either flank and can play as a false nine if we chose to do that," Southgate said.

"He can play off a striker, although he doesn't do that as much at club level so that's maybe applicable to certain games or certain moments.

"He's a very flexible player in terms of the attributes he has and where he can have an impact. He's a goal threat, which is also very important."

 

England will advance to the last 16 should they avoid a four-goal loss to Wales, though Southgate will be targeting a victory to secure top spot in Group B.

The match at Ahmed bin Ali Stadium will be England's first against a fellow British side at the World Cup, but Southgate does not believe that brings extra pressure.

"None more than normal," he said. "We recognise this is a game with a lot of focus because it's a local derby, but we're England – everyone wants to beat us.

"There are high expectations every time we're on the pitch. We've got to focus on playing as well as we can while showing the composure and ruthlessness needed to win."

England have won each of their past six games against Wales, scoring 11 goals in that run and conceding only one – a Gareth Bale free-kick at Euro 2016. 

Phil Foden is "the best footballer England have", according to former Three Lions captain Wayne Rooney, who suggests the Manchester City star must be played at the World Cup going forward.

The playmaker was an unused substitute during Friday's 0-0 draw with the United States, as Gareth Southgate's side missed the chance to seal top spot in Group B and progress to the knockout rounds.

Having been overlooked to start in both of their matches so far, Foden was forced to watch from the sidelines as his side laboured to a point, prompting criticism from former England players Jamie Carragher and Gary Neville.

Now Rooney, the Three Lions' all-time record goalscorer, has added his voice to the chorus of dissent over the 22-year-old's exclusion from a crucial encounter.

"I found it very strange that Foden did not come on as a substitute against the USA," he wrote in his column for The Times. "Technically, he is the best footballer England have.

"I think if you have a talent like Foden, you simply have to play him. He is now a different player from the one we saw at Euro 2020, when he struggled to make an impact.

"He is more mature and came into this tournament on the back of a long period of brilliant performances for Manchester City.

"He has the form to go with the ability. If I were him, I would be very frustrated that I didn't get on the pitch at any stage of Friday’s game."

In a lacklustre performance without the energy and verve of their opening 6-2 win over Iran, England were kept out of danger at the back by another strong showing from Harry Maguire.

Manchester United's club captain has been mostly overlooked at club level this season, but Rooney was effusive in his praise for the centre-back, who recovered from illness to feature against the United States.

"[Maguire] was England's standout player on Friday," he added. "He had an excellent game against Iran.

"[He is] showing the quality on the ball, sound defending and unmistakable threat at set pieces. That makes him so important to the team."

England play their final Group B game against Wales on Tuesday, with Southgate's side looking to secure top spot ahead of the knockout rounds.

Jamie Carragher was perplexed by Gareth Southgate's "strange" decision to leave "special talent" Phil Foden on the bench in England's goalless World Cup draw with the United States.

The Three Lions remain top of Group B and on the brink of qualifying for the round of 16 heading into a clash with Wales on Tuesday, but were fortunate to secure a point against USA at Al Bayt Stadium on Friday.

England were sluggish and were almost punished when Christian Pulisic rattled the crossbar in the first half after Weston McKennie wasted a good opportunity to open the scoring.

Southgate brought on Jordan Henderson, Jack Grealish and Marcus Rashford in the second half, but Manchester City attacking midfielder Foden was an unused substitute.

Former England defender Carragher cannot understand why Foden has not been included in the starting line-up or at least brought off the bench earlier, stating that City boss Pep Guardiola would turn to the 22-year-old ahead of Grealish.

He wrote in his column for The Telegraph: "I was among those hoping Gareth Southgate would turn to the Manchester City youngster. It was baffling that he remained on the bench when the game was crying out for his creativity.

"If you had told me before the tournament that Foden would only feature for 19 minutes of the first two World Cup games, my initial thought would be he must be injured.

"When asked to select my starting XI for the opening fixture against Iran, Foden was in it. The more the squad was studied, the harder it was to leave him out. He is too much of a special talent.

"Speak to any football supporter watching the Premier League over the last three years and ask 'who is the most naturally gifted English footballer today?' and 80 per cent would say Foden. The other 20 per cent are not watching closely enough.

"For Southgate to turn to his substitutes and opt for his City team-mate Jack Grealish ahead of him felt strange. Would Pep Guardiola look to Grealish before Foden if seeking a winning goal? Highly unlikely."

Ex-Liverpool defender Carragher added: "Foden has had plenty of opportunities for England, so it is not as if Southgate has ignored him. But although it is very early in his career, there have been times watching Foden playing for his country when his situation has reminded me of John Barnes in his heyday.

"For those too young to remember, between 1987-91, Barnes was not only the most talented England player of his generation, he was streets ahead of the rest.

"Think of Thierry Henry during his peak years at Arsenal. That is how good Barnes was for Liverpool. Yet for England, he was a shadow of himself.  

"The question was often asked whether the problem was Barnes or England. Surely it cannot be so difficult to accommodate a rare talent?

"It is imperative history does not repeat itself with Foden. Already, it is a shame he is not one of the first picks in the starting line-up, let alone the first go-to player from the bench.

"When Foden played in the last Euros you would have thought it certain he would be established in the side by now. Instead, others have jumped ahead of him.

"I really like Bukayo Saka and have no criticism about his selection given his Arsenal form. I also understand the loyalty to Raheem Sterling who has been one of the best players in the Southgate era.

"Over the last few days we have been rightly talking about Jude Bellingham a lot. But can it just be shrugged aside what Foden has been doing in the Premier League?

"To me, he eclipses those chosen ahead of him. I truly believe if he was Spanish he would be in their first XI."

Gary Neville believes England simply must give Phil Foden a chance to light up the Qatar World Cup after the Manchester City man played no part against the United States.

According to former England defender Neville, powerhouses such as Brazil would give Foden more of a chance on the big stage than England are allowing him.

Foden watched on as Gareth Southgate's men laboured to a 0-0 draw at the Al Bayt Stadium, delivering a largely turgid performance that was far removed from the opening 6-2 win over Iran.

The American opposition were more threatening for large parts of the game than much-fancied England, and substitutes Jack Grealish, Jordan Henderson and Marcus Rashford did little to change that.

Foden, a favourite of Pep Guardiola at City, made an appearance off the bench in the Iran game, but Southgate elected to keep him off the field this time, even with England lacking attacking spark that he might have provided.

Speaking on ITV, Neville said: "I was disappointed not to see Foden. For me, that talent is huge. I've not seen anything like that. I know we've got [Jude] Bellingham, we've got Grealish, we've got others.

"Gareth prefers [Mason] Mount, he prefers [Bukayo] Saka, he prefers [Raheem] Sterling at the moment, but for me for Foden not to be in amongst that in a starting XI, and to not come off the bench was interesting.

"I'm torn a little bit because I've got huge respect for Gareth and what he's achieved. He's achieved more than any [England] manager since Sir Alf Ramsey, but we've got a couple of talents there on the bench in Trent Alexander-Arnold and Foden. In terms of opening up a game, Trent Alexander-Arnold's got some of the best deliveries you'll ever see from a full-back.

"Those two not coming off the bench was a little bit disappointing in the sense that if you're going to try to win the game, they're world-class talents.

"Other nations – Spain, Brazil, France – probably would have Trent Alexander-Arnold and Foden in the starting XI, and I understand it a little bit having watched Trent Alexander-Arnold defend, but when you see a game like that where we lack creativity and where we can't really create any chances, you think, those two players, really should they be in there?"

Neville said England's overall display was "poor", and rated the USA midfield performance higher than England's effort in that area.

His former Manchester United team-mate Roy Keane agreed Foden should have played a part and was blunt about England's dour display.

Keane, a former Republic of Ireland midfield general, said: "We were all stood watching the game saying 'Foden'.

"You fully expected Foden to come on with the options, and the subs that did come on didn't really have an impact

"I know they did well the other day, but England did look leggy, they looked one-paced, they looked short of ideas. Even set-pieces, you never felt they had a goal in their locker from that. So actually it was a terrible performance."

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