Gareth Southgate's open letter to England fans
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Phil Foden has evoked memories of Euro 96 and Paul Gascoigne by bleaching his hair ahead of the upcoming European Championships.
Gazza sported the famous bleached-blonde style when England last played a Euros campaign on home soil back in 1996.
And with the Three Lions set to get their Euro 2020 tournament underway against Group D rivals Croatia on Sunday, Foden has opted for a Gascoigne-inspired look himself.
The 21-year-old playmaker has hints of Gascoigne in his style on the pitch too, and is expected to play a significant part for England throughout the tournament following a stunning season for Manchester City.
Foden played a starring role in City’s run to the Champions League final, and also excelled as his club won the Premier League title, with his outstanding displays earning him both the PFA Young Player of the Year award and the Premier League Young Player of the Season gong.
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Foden’s Gazza-like fearlessness has also impressed his international captain.
“Phil is great,” Harry Kane told the Official England Podcast.
“He loves football and being out there on the pitch, being on the ball and expressing himself.
“His game understanding and final product has got better and we all know how good he is when he is dribbling past players.
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“Phil might need a bit of help now and then, but when he’s on the pitch, he’s fearless and just wants to play.”
Just like Gazza, Foden is no stranger to controversy, having broken COVID restrictions in Iceland last year along with Manchester United’s Mason Greenwood.
Both Foden and Greenwood were sent home and subsequently left out of Gareth Southgate’s following England squad.
But Foden is now very much back in the fold, and could play in a number of roles for Southgate’s team at Euro 2020, at least according to BBC presenter Gary Lineker.
“His little feints, his moves; he’s quick too,” Lineker said to Micah Richards and Alan Shearer on the Match of the Day Top 10 podcast.
“The thing is, he could play false nine, he could play left, he’s good on the right, I like him on the right, or six, or eight.
“You could play one holding player, say [Declan] Rice, and then [Mason] Mount and Foden either side.”
Foden could do worse than emulate Gascoigne’s impact at Wembley 25 years ago.
“The then-Rangers player scored the most famous goal of his career against Scotland in the group stage in 1996, and England again play their neighbours in a Euros game at Wembley later this month.
“However, Foden will be hoping that the similarities don’t stretch as far as Gascoigne’s agonising open-goal miss during the extra-time golden goal period against Germany in the semi-finals.”
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