Phil Foden's England camp exit explained as Gareth Southgate handed last-16 worry

Phil Foden has left the England Euro 2024 camp. (Image: Getty.)

Phil Foden has exited the England camp to return home due to a “pressing family matter.”

A day after the Three Lions secured top spot in Group C and a place in the Euro 2024 last-16 with a 0-0 draw with Slovenia, Foden has headed home to be with his partner Rebecca Cooke.

She is expecting their third child, which has been confirmed by Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola, and Foden is returning home to prepare for the birth after the FA released a statement on Wednesday confirming Foden’s absence.

While no official news has been released over when Foden will return to Germany, England are hoping that he will be back to feature for their last-16 clash on Sunday, according to The Mirror.

However, with the 24-year-old likely to miss the majority of training in the build-up to the clash, Gareth Southgate may opt for another player on the left flank, after another dispiriting display last time out.

Fans and pundits have clamoured for Anthony Gordon to be involved, with a lack of natural width a repeated criticism, and the Newcastle man may get Southgate’s nod through Foden’s absence this week.

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Phil Foden is heading back to England temporarily. (Image: Getty)

Foden’s son Ronnie also confirmed that their family are expecting a new addition through his social media channel, which Guardiola believes can help the midfielder on the pitch.

Guardiola stated: “I would love him to go in sixth gear in every single action but afterwards you are less precise, you lose the ball all the time and that is not effective.

“You have to reduce the time so you know the moments when you have to be more aggressive and calm. But it’s a question of time.”

The FA confirmed in a statement: “Phil Foden has temporarily left the England camp and returned to the UK for a pressing family matter.”

Foden is expected to be able to play on Sunday, but how much training and preparation he will miss before the last-16 tie remains to be seen, coming off the back off a stellar club season in which he won the Premier League Player of the Year.