Phil Foden wants to follow in Jadon Sancho's footsteps for next gen England

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Manchester City midfielder Phil Foden believes England’s young guns can be as good as the ‘Golden Generation’ as he eyes Euro 2020.

The 18-year-old will be handed his England Under-21 debut against Andorra on Thursday or against Scotland on Tuesday.

The Young Lions need a point from their final two Group Four games to qualify for Euro 2019.

England’s latest young crop of talent has been dubbed the new ‘Golden Generation’ after the David Beckham, Paul Scholes and Steven Gerrard era – although they failed to meet expectations.

The age groups have won the Under-17 World Cup, Under-20 World Cup and the Toulon Tournament for three straight years.

And Foden believes the current crop of talent can become individually as good as the past stars.

He said: “Yeah, definitely. We have got a lot of quality in the team and Jadon (Sancho) is an example. If you are playing well, he (Gareth Southgate) will give you a chance and he isn’t scared to call you up no matter what your age.

“It is exciting times for England with all these exciting kids coming through and the great thing is Gareth isn’t afraid to give us a chance. It’s good.

“Hopefully in the future we can win the World Cup. I think it is really good and it is going well.”

Foden has made five appearances for City this season as he tries to make an impression under Pep Guardiola.

He will be under consideration for Euro 2019, should the under-21s qualify as expected, but admits Euro 2020 remains an aim.

“Yeah, definitely. I’m hoping so. If it doesn’t happen, I will just keep working hard,” he said.

“Hopefully the time will come but that is what I am aiming for.”

England Under-21s host Andorra in Chesterfield on Thursday which is exactly a year since Foden scored in England Under-17s’ 3-2 group stage win over Mexico at the World Cup.

He also scored twice in the final as England beat Spain 5-2 to lift the trophy as well as being named player of the tournament.

Foden added: “It’s gone fast since then. I’ll always look back on it, great memories – it was obviously a special moment to win a World Cup but now I want to win it for higher ages and keep doing it.”

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Chelsea and England legend Frank Lampard challenges Mason Mount to make Three Lions impact

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Frank Lampard has challenged Mason Mount to eclipse his own England career.

The 19-year-old received his first senior international call-up for the Nations League fixtures against Croatia and Spain having shone in Lampard’s Derby side.

Mount, on loan at Pride Park from Chelsea, is highly regarded in the England ranks – especially by manager Gareth Southgate.

After spending last season on a similar agreement at Vitesse Arnhem, Mount has already scored five goals for the Rams and has been an ever-present so far this campaign.

Mount revealed that Lampard had playfully told him he had made the senior squad before challenging him to beat the 106 caps he accrued playing for the Three Lions.

“He’s obviously got over 100 caps so he said to see if I can break that,” he said.

“It was the first thing he said to me. He’s given me loads of advice so far and I’m just trying to take it all in. It’s a long season so I’m going to learn so much off him.

“For me personally, learning off someone that’s done so well in the game, as a midfielder I can learn so much off him and I have done so far.

“I actually found out before he pulled me in the office. He was sitting in there with (assistant manager) Jody Morris… he said he was thinking of looking to drop me for the next game, and maybe give me a rest.

“He dropped that first but then he smiled and said, ‘No, I’ve just spoken to Gareth, you’ve been selected for the seniors’.”

Mason Mount has been in excellent for form Derby so far this season

Mason Mount has been in excellent for form Derby so far this season

Southgate’s appreciation of Mount’s talent became clear when he asked the youngster to train with his squad for four days before they jetted off to Russia for the World Cup.

Mount admits that experience only made him more determined to return on a more full-time basis as he looks to become the first outfield Championship player to earn an England cap since Cardiff’s Jay Bothroyd in 2010.

“One hundred per cent, coming in before the World Cup, training for four days, it made me hungrier to get into the squad,” he added.

“Being selected for the under-21s was a massive achievement for me and it was a goal.

“You get to know the staff, the players, being in and around the meetings, is it definitely a step up.

“They are playing Champions League football, they are playing Premier League football, they are the top, top players in the world so it is a step up.

“But when I get on the pitch I try to play my football and to be tactically and mentally ready.”

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Jadon Sancho eager to make mark for England after lighting up Bundesliga

Simon Peach 11/10/2018
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Jadon Sancho says being called up by England is the “biggest thing that could ever happen to a young kid” and pledged to make his mark on football like Borussia Dortmund star Christian Pulisic has.

Fresh from signing a new and improved deal until 2022, manager Gareth Southgate doubled down on his focus on youth with his squad selection for the upcoming Nations League double-header away to Croatia and Spain.

Sancho was perhaps the most eye-catching inclusion, with his promising performances in Germany seeing him become the first player born this millennium to be called up by the senior team.

The 18-year-old is reaping the rewards of taking the path less followed, having made the courageous – if at the time slightly controversial – move from Manchester City to Dortmund last summer.

Sancho said: “It means a lot to me, especially my family. When I was a young kid, I always dreamed of obviously playing for my country. That’s the biggest thing that could ever happen to a young kid like me.

“It would be a dream come true (to make my debut against Croatia). I couldn’t ask for anything better than that.

“Obviously I just have to keep on working hard in training and see what the manager does.”

Sancho seemed a little taken aback by the media interest at St George’s Park, but not quite as much as when the call came in from Southgate rather than England Under-21s boss Aidy Boothroyd.

“I was a bit surprised, to be fair, because obviously I’m so young so I have still got a lot to learn,” he said with a smile.

“I’m just grateful that he’s seeing my progress in the Bundesliga and very thankful.”

Sancho politely declined to talk about leaving Pep Guardiola‘s City but was forthcoming when it came to life in Germany, expressing gratitude to the Dortmund fans and head coach Lucien Favre.

The teenager is slowly learning German but adaptation to life on the field has been rapid, thanks in no small part to their trust in young players – and advice from the likes of team-mate Pulisic.

“Obviously Christian Pulisic is another young guy, and I learn from him all the time,” Sancho said of the United States international.

“His confidence to just take on players – no matter like whether there are four or five guys around him, he still tries.

“That’s what he tells me off the pitch, ‘you’ve just got to do your thing, that’s why you’re here – you’ve got to make everyone understand you’re Jadon Sancho’. That’s what he said to me.”

Playing alongside the likes of Pulisic, Mario Gotze and Marco Reus makes Sancho “more grounded”, while living with his dad in Dortmund also helps.

The attacking midfielder’s performances have recently been rewarded with a contract extension with the German giants until 2022 but living abroad has brought challenges.

Sancho said: “Obviously moving from home, that was the biggest. Leaving my mum behind and my sisters. I miss them a lot, but I want to do what’s best for me and felt like moving to Germany was the best thing.”

Sancho’s transfer from Watford to City helped prepare him for the mental leap to Germany – a move abroad he would recommend to like-minded players.

There were nerves at first, but Sancho soon settled into life at Dortmund and the number seven shirt vacated by Ousmane Dembele when he joined Barcelona.

Playing for England brings new pressures, though, and his performances have seen a £100million price tag to be mentioned.

“That’s mad!” Sancho said with a laugh when told of that figure. “Woah!

“That’s… I don’t know… I don’t know what to say to that.”

Asked if he felt he would play club football in England again, he said: “I don’t know. It’s the future. You never know what could happen, so we wait and see.”

For now, his focus is on international matters.

Sancho already has a World Cup winners’ medal to his name – even though he had to watch last year’s under-17 final on an internet stream after being called back from India by Dortmund.

Earlier that summer the attacking midfielder won player of the tournament as Steve Cooper’s Young Lions reached the Under-17 European Championship final and the teenager believes that was a “very special group”.

“The growth in England at the moment is crazy,” Sancho added. “There’s a lot of great young players out there.”

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