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Gareth Southgate addressed England’s midfield options alongside Declan Rice and Jude Bellingham following the team’s 1-0 defeat to Brazil on Saturday night.

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The match was decided by a late goal from young talent Endrick, marking his first senior goal for the Selecao and resulting in a defeat for the Three Lions against a Brazilian side that had suffered three consecutive losses in previous fixtures.

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While Rice and Bellingham are expected to secure midfield positions for Euro 2024, the third spot appears to be open for contention. Conor Gallagher started the match, with Manchester United’s young talent Kobbie Mainoo coming on as a second-half substitute.

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Southgate commented, “I believe they performed admirably. Conor’s role was slightly different, as he had to operate deeper. We managed to handle the pressure well. Declan’s performance, both on and off the ball, was exceptional.”

He added, “We’re facing some shortages. There’s a limited number of midfield players who typically play as sixes in the league. This is why we introduced Kobbie into the mix.”

Competition for the third midfield spot is intense, with several key players missing from the squad due to injury. Trent Alexander-Arnold is currently sidelined, and Curtis Jones would likely have been selected if not for an ankle injury. James Maddison, Ivan Toney, and Jarrad Branthwaite are eager to make their mark, with the hope of significant minutes in the upcoming match against Belgium at Wembley.

Despite his regular appearances for England since his debut in 2020, Kalvin Phillips was omitted from the squad due to limited game time at Manchester City and a disappointing start to his January loan spell at West Ham. Additionally, Jordan Henderson and captain Harry Kane were absent from the Brazil clash due to injury.

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