City pair back in England squad but not Greenwood

LONDON • Manchester City midfielder Phil Foden was yesterday recalled to England's football squad for their upcoming matches but Manchester United forward Mason Greenwood remains in exile after the pair's coronavirus protocol breach.

City forward Raheem Sterling was also recalled after missing the October international break due to a minor hamstring injury.

Foden and Greenwood were sent home in disgrace after inviting two local models to their team hotel following their international debuts in September's Nations League clash against Iceland in Reykjavik, flouting safety measures.

England coach Gareth Southgate left them out of his squad for last month's matches as punishment and branded their behaviour in the midst of the pandemic as "unacceptable".

But Foden has since scored three times in six Premier League games, catching the eye with his impressive form for City.

The 20-year-old was rewarded with a recall ahead of next week's friendly against Ireland and Nations League matches against Belgium and Iceland.

Greenwood, 19, once again missed out despite the absence of injured Southampton striker Danny Ings.

United goalkeeper Dean Henderson is the only uncapped player in the 29-man squad, with Jordan Pickford selected despite his inconsistent form for Everton, which led to Robin Olsen replacing him in goal last weekend. Defenders Reece James and Harry Maguire were included even though they were sent off when England lost 1-0 to Denmark in their previous match.

On Foden's recall and Greenwood's omission, Southgate said yesterday: "They don't come as a pair. They're individual players with their own strengths and talents... Phil has had quite a lot of football with his club recently and Mason has had less game time with United. I've had a good chat with (manager) Ole (Gunnar Solskjaer) about his development. I feel it's better for him to stay with the club at the moment and to develop over the next few months.

"There's no carry-over with what happened in September."

European champions Portugal will welcome Cristiano Ronaldo back in their squad for a friendly against Andorra and Nations League matches against France and Croatia.

The five-time Ballon d'Or winner tested positive for the coronavirus on Oct 13 when with the Portugal squad and missed the 3-0 victory over Sweden. He tested negative 19 days later, returning to the pitch with a double for Juventus against Spezia in Serie A action last Sunday.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 06, 2020, with the headline 'City pair back in England squad but not Greenwood'. Print Edition | Subscribe