Blue and red Manchester rivals’ route to the top
but it was considered entirely out of character for the City midfielder.
His professionalism, attitude and application are qualities Pep Guardiola values as much as his skill set and, having recently talked the player up to Southgate, the City manager is certain to feel let down by Foden’s actions, particularly given the responsibility he is about to afford the player now that David Silva has departed the club.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, the United manager, will be equally dismayed, given his glowing appraisals of
Born Stockport, May 28, 2000
St Bede’s College (fees paid for by Manchester City)
Educated Club career
Joined City aged eight. Made debut at 17. Has made 41 appearances, scoring six goals
Has represented England from all aged levels from under-16. One senior cap
Born Bradford, Oct 1, 2001.
Ashton on Mersey School
Joined United aged six. Made debut at 17. Has made 34 appearances, scoring 10 goals
Under-15 upwards. One senior cap.
Special bond: Phil Foden (far left) and Mason Greenwood play for rival clubs, but have formed a close friendship on England duty
Greenwood’s character and temperament. He had just handed the striker the No11 shirt at Old Trafford, a reward for a startling debut campaign in which he became the first teenager in United’s history to score 18 goals in a season, but also recognition of the faith the club have in him.
Given their nature, Foden and Greenwood will learn from this, and learn fast, but this was not the way either would have envisaged starting the biggest season of their careers.
Phil Neville, the England women’s manager, has backed homegrown players in the Women’s Super League to thrive this season because of the wealth of foreign talent that is flooding the top flight.
The WSL attracted high-profile signings ahead of resuming after a 195-day absence last weekend and more could be on the way before the transfer window closes on Thursday, amid reports that Manchester United are poised to sign United States strikers Tobin Heath and Christen Press.
The Football Association will introduce a rule next season that clubs must name eight homegrown players from a maximum squad of 25.
“I always say people are worried about the English-qualified players not getting enough action because of the influx of world-class players, but ultimately world-class players will make the English player better and the English player has to be better to get in their teams,” Neville said. “I think this year will be the
Everton have signed Colombian James Rodriguez from Real Madrid in a deal they hope will elevate the club’s standing on and off the pitch.
Rodriguez’s arrival was confirmed last night, the 29-year-old signing a two-year contract with the option for a third. Everton are not disclosing the fee, but it is believed to be just under £20million.
“I’m looking forward to achieving great things here – and winning things,” Rodriguez said.
Rodriguez’s arrival demonstrates the power of manager Carlo Ancelotti. He previously worked with the attacking midfielder at Real Madrid best WSL that we’ve seen, probably since it was started, in terms of competition, quality and depth.”
West Ham’s fixture against Arsenal on Saturday has been selected as one of the pilot events to test the return of spectators to elite sports fixtures.
“Because our crowds are slightly smaller, I think we could probably get supporters back into stadiums quicker than the men can in the bigger stadiums,” Neville said. “Hopefully we’ll start to see the reintegration of supporters, because if you speak to managers and players, that’s what makes football. That atmosphere takes you on that extra mile.”
England, who have not played since the SheBelieves Cup in March, face Germany in a friendly
and Bayern Munich. “One of the big reasons [I signed] was the presence of Carlo Ancelotti,” Rodriguez said. “I have enjoyed some great times with him previously.”
With Brazilian Allan secured over the weekend, there is an exciting look about Everton’s midfield ahead of their opening Premier League game against Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday.
As well as raising the quality of the squad, the club hope Rodriguez’s presence will enable them to capitalise off it.
Rodriguez is ranked the eighth most popular sportsman on social media, with 96.9 million online followers via Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. Of those footballers still playing professionally, only Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi and Neymar eclipse those numbers.
Everton will waste no time seeking to maximise the commercial opportunities of Rodriguez’s signing. The club will soon be opening a in Wiesbaden on Oct 27 in their first match since Neville announced he would be stepping down as head coach next summer to be replaced by Dutchwoman Sarina Wiegman. Just four days later the rescheduled Women’s FA Cup final takes place at Wembley.
“If I was a professional footballer and I was thinking about wanting to play at the top level, playing Germany on the Tuesday and playing in an FA Cup final on the Saturday is what I would dream of doing,” Neville said.
“We’ve just had six months without football and now we’re talking about resting players for some of the biggest games. I think that’s the reality of what we’ve witnessed over the past few months. We took the biggest games against the best opposition in the biggest stadiums for granted. Now the opportunities will be there, I want my players to grab them.” club HQ in either Miami or California, where they are reaching out to Hispanic communities already interested in the club’s contingent of South American players, such as Yerry Mina, Richarlison and Bernard.
But Ancelotti’s top priority is the on-field impact. “James, as everyone knows, is a fantastic player with a lot of quality and a lot of ability to make assists for the strikers,” the manager said.
Everton have also asked about Valencia’s Uruguayan striker, Maxi Gomez, who would be available for below the £13million paid to Celta Vigo last year.