FA Director: Keeping Gareth Southgate as England Manager Could Be 'Tough Ask'

Gianni Verschueren@ReverschPassFeatured ColumnistSeptember 10, 2019

SOUTHAMPTON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 09: England Head Coach, Gareth Southgate speaks to the media during an England press conference at St. Mary's Stadium on September 09, 2019 in Southampton, England. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)
Julian Finney/Getty Images

FA technical director Les Reed believes it will be difficult to keep hold of England manager Gareth Southgate once strong offers from the Premier League start to arrive.

Southgate has led the national team since 2016, overseeing a successful spell and setting the Three Lions up for even greater things in the future. Speaking to Sky Sports, Reed said he believes the tactician is eyeing international silverware before he leaves, but the right offer could change his mind:

"It would be a tough ask depending on what he was offered. But I know Gareth's mindset at the moment is that he wants to be an England manager that wins something.

"I think the attraction of being the next England manager to take us to a World Cup final is a strong pull and also I think he knows that by doing that his stock's not going to go down.

"Obviously it's something that we have in the back of our minds all the time but I know that Gareth's motivation is with this team and developing this team moving forward."

SOUTHAMPTON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 09:  Gareth Southgate and Harry Kane of England during a training session at Staplewood on September 09, 2019 in Southampton, England. (Photo by Robin Jones/Getty Images)
Robin Jones/Getty Images

Southgate's only managerial experience at the club level so far is a stint with Middlesbrough, where he was sacked after the team were relegated in 2009.

The former Crystal Palace, Aston Villa and Boro defender was promoted into a senior role in 2016 after a great spell with the under-21 England team and led the Three Lions to fourth place at the 2018 FIFA World Cup. The team also qualified for the inaugural UEFA Nations League finals the next summer and have a perfect record in Euro 2020 qualifying after three matches heading into Tuesday's match against Kosovo.

The 49-year-old gave some insights into his coaching philosophies:

The current England squad contains several established stars, including Tottenham Hotspur's Harry Kane and Manchester City's Raheem Sterling. Perhaps more impressively, the next generation of Three Lions is bursting with high-level talent.

Borussia Dortmund's Jadon Sancho, West Ham's Declan Rice, Chelsea's Mason Mount and Leicester City's James Maddison all have superstar upside. Further down the pecking order, England's under-20 team are reigning world champions.

The Three Lions' future is bright, and Southgate is in a great position to guide the side to their first major trophy since the 1966 World Cup.

SOUTHAMPTON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 09: Chris Powell with Gareth Southgate of England during a training session at Staplewood on September 09, 2019 in Southampton, England. (Photo by Robin Jones/Getty Images)
Robin Jones/Getty Images

But the lure of the Premier League could also be tempting. Top clubs Manchester United and Chelsea have both started the new season poorly and are led by inexperienced coaches in Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Frank Lampard, respectively.

SkyBet (h/t OddsChecker.com) have given the former the top odds to be the next Premier League manager sacked. Lampard only got the Blues job in the summer and will likely be given a little more time, but he too is far from secure in his role.

Southgate could be an attractive option for both clubs, given his proven ability to work with some of England's biggest stars and his experience integrating younger talent.

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