Phil Foden flies home from Euro 2024 as England's last 16 plans thrown into chaos

Phil Foden has flown home from Euro 2024. (Image: Getty)

Phil Foden has temporarily left England’s Euro 2024 camp and flown back home to the UK just days before Sunday’s round of 16 tie. The Manchester City forward, who started all three of England’s Group C games, could be a doubt for the nation’s first knockout clash in Germany, likely against the Netherlands.

Foden is said to have returned to the UK in light of an urgent family matter a day after Gareth Southgate’s side sealed top spot with a 0-0 draw against Slovenia in Cologne.

On Wednesday, an FA statement read: “Phil Foden has temporarily left the England camp & returned to the UK for a pressing family matter.”

Foden has reportedly travelled back to Manchester to be present for the birth of his third child. Pep Guardiola recently confirmed his star man was expecting to add to his growing family.

Southgate is thought to have given Foden his blessing to temporarily leave, given the five-day break between matches. There is confidence that he will be in contention to feature in the last 16.

The 24-year-old’s sudden absence may have thrown Southgate’s preparations for Sunday’s last-16 showdown into chaos.

Foden played 89 minutes of Tuesday’s stalemate with Slovenia on the left wing before being replaced by Anthony Gordon.

Denmark’s 0-0 tie against Serbia meant England topped the group with five points despite winning just once and scoring two goals in three outings.

Phil Foden is attending the birth of his third child. (Image: Getty)

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Foden featured for 69 minutes in a 1-1 draw with Denmark after playing the full game as the Three Lions narrowly beat Serbia 1-0 in their opener.

His status as a starter has been one of the most prominent debates among disgruntled England fans, with many unconvinced he can produce his best form on the left.

Foden was named the Premier League Player of the Season after registering 19 goals and eight assists in 35 appearances.

His form helped fire City to an unprecedented fourth consecutive title one season after lifting the treble – the Premier League, Champions League and FA Cup.

He has been one of several England players who have failed to showcase their best abilities during the group stage, though, with many urging Southgate to make changes.

The England boss may be forced into doing so in the last 16 if Foden hasn’t returned to the Blankenhain training base in time.

Southgate and his squad will discover Sunday’s opponents on Wednesday evening after the conclusion of Group E and Group F.

However, the draw has lined up the Netherlands as England’s likely opponents after they slumped from first to third in Group D on the final matchday.

By topping Group C, England are on the opposite side of the draw to fellow favourites France, Portugal, Germany and Spain.