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England coach Southgate hails Foden and Greenwood.

Phil Foden and Mason Greenwood have both been impressive, according to England manager Gareth Southgate.

Foden In Action. [Getty]
Foden In Action. [Getty]

Phil Foden and Mason Greenwood's superb post-lockdown performances impressed Gareth Southgate.

England manager Gareth Southgate has heaped praise on Phil Foden and Mason Greenwood, saying the duo could play for the Three Lions for a long time.

The Manchester City and Manchester United youngsters got their first call-ups when Southgate named his 24-man squad for England’s Nations League matches against Iceland and Denmark.

"They've both been very impressive with our junior teams and they were excellent in the period immediately post-lockdown for their clubs," Southgate said as Sky Sports quoted.

"Both played big matches, important matches at big clubs and had a big impact.

"They have the potential to be England internationals for a long time to come.

"As always, that is up to them and their mentality and the way they play. But we have belief in them and we're really looking forward to working with them.

"If you're within football, you've known about these two boys for a long time."

Southgate continued: "Phil, we've watched for a long time. We felt at times last year that it was better for him to get football with our Under-21s.

"There were moments when he wasn't getting regular game time and we felt [playing for England U21s] was a good part of his development.

"But we've known that he was likely to be a player that would be involved with the England senior team and we feel that now is a good moment to do that."

On Greenwood (18), the 49-year-old said: "If you'd said to me three or four months ago, we'd have probably been saying we know there's a high-quality player having a very good season, but maybe it's a bit too early to put him up to the senior team.

Greenwood [R] vying for the ball with Gundogan. [Getty]
Greenwood [R] vying for the ball with Gundogan. [Getty]

"But the reality is that his performances and his goalscoring have been so good that he's earned the right.

The ex-Middlesbrough coach added: "They give us competition for places in the squad, they give us a high level of player and they can now go and grab that opportunity."

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