Danny Murphy believes one of Manchester City star Phil Foden or Tottenham Hotspur ace James Maddison needs to be playing as a number 10 for England.

Yesterday evening, the three Lions played out a drab 1-1 draw with Ukraine.

It signalled the end of England’s perfect run in qualifying.

England fell behind when Oleksandr Zinchenko scored.

But Kyle Walker, who was arguably England’s best player, equalised with his first ever international goal.

It was a pretty uninspiring performance, and some have criticised Gareth Southgate for being too conserative.

It was frustrating to see £225,000-a-week City man Foden start on the bench again – and Murphy believes this cannot continue.

Danny Murphy wants to see Phil Foden and/or James Maddison playing number 10 for England

Despite being in great form for City, Foden found himself on the bench against Ukraine.

Somehow, he could not make it into the starting XI ahead of Jordan Henderson, who has chosen to go and play in Saudi Arabia.

Ukraine v England: Group C -  UEFA EURO 2024 European Qualifiers
Photo by Eddie Keogh – The FA/The FA via Getty Images

For Murphy, it is clear that he needs to start as a number 10. But he does reckon Maddison could be a big rival for him in that position.

He said (Daily Mail): “Foden is dynamic over short distances but is similar to Maddison in being better suited to helping the team in the middle, opening up defences with either a dribble or a pass.

“At City, Foden can be effective playing wide as Pep Guardiola’s team dominate possession. But for England, both he and Maddison need to be No 10s. 

“I did feel for Maddison a bit on Saturday because when Foden came on, he was given that role as Ukraine defended to get a point.

“My feeling is that England are lucky to have two excellent playmakers. I wouldn’t really mind going into a tournament with either starting. It could be based on which one of Maddison and Foden is in the better form.”

Man City star Foden should be nailed on starter for England

It was embarrassing that Henderson started for England ahead of Foden in midfield against Ukraine.

There is a reason that he left Liverpool in the summer, and the player has even admitted he didn’t have offers from other clubs, which is part of the reason he went to Saudi.

England v North Macedonia: Group C - UEFA EURO 2024 Qualifying Round
Photo by Eddie Keogh – The FA/The FA via Getty Images

For Southgate to still start him over Foden, who has been excellent for City as an eight or 10 so far this term, is just bizarre.

Murphy is right, at least one of Foden or Maddison has to be starting.

If it is to be both, then perhaps Foden could play left and Maddison could play as an advanced midfielder along with Jude Bellingham, with Declan Rice holding.

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