Gascoigne 'offered to play' against Switzerland - Southgate

England manager Gareth Southgate has said former teammate Paul Gascoigne offered to play against Switzerland as the pair caught up before the international friendly.

The quirky proposal is likely to have been sparked by Southgate's comments earlier in the week when he picked out his former team-mate as a "unique talent" in the modern era. Gascoigne earned 57 England caps between 1988 and 1998 and played alongside Southgate at Euro 96, where he cemented his reputation as one of the best creative midfielders of his generation.

When asked to stack up England's most talented players against the likes of Spain's Andres Iniesta, Xavi and David Silva, Southgate said: "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.

"I think what is happening at junior level is that there is more emphasis on technical ability.

"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."

Fortunately, England managed to get through the Switzerland match without the need to call on Gazza's services. Marcus Rashford's second-half strike was enough to earn the Three Lions their first win in three games.

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