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    Gareth Southgate: 'England struggling to develop game-changing midfielder in Paul Gascoigne mould'


    FM-News

    Gareth Southgate has opened up on England's struggle to develop a game-changing midfielder, saying Paul Gascoigne was the product of "unique talent".

    The World Cup semi-finalists must "be brave enough to stick to their principles" as they aim to become a possession-based side, according to the England manager, despite a humbling 2-1 defeat by Spain in Saturday's UEFA Nations League opener.

    Thiago Alcantara dominated the midfield for Spain in a similar manner to how Luka Modric did when Croatia denied England their first major tournament final appearance in 52 years.

    Southgate admits he is yet to find his own creative solution to compete against the world's top sides.

    "The only one in my lifetime is Paul Gascoigne and I'm not sure he was developed, I think he was a consequence of a unique talent," Southgate told Sky Sports.

    "I think what is happening at junior level is that there is more emphasis on technical ability, there is more, right from five, six, seven-year-olds, there is more emphasis on being able to handle the ball and play.

    "We're seeing that with some of our junior teams. But we can see there's a period of time for those players to come through.

    "We can see there's a few players around our squad that have the ability to do that, but Spain have had a production line for a long period of time.

    "Look at those who have gone and those that come into the team. Of that type of player, they've produced more than any other team in the world."

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