Creative Soccer Culture

England Players Switch Into Next Gen Nike Phantom

As they prepare for a quarter final showdown with Kylian Mbappé and France, England players including Jack Grealish and Mason Mount have switched into what looks to be a new generation of the Nike Phantom series – an unprecedented move mid-tournament.

So far, so good for England at the 2022 World Cup, and with that in mind you’d think there’d be an air of “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”, but that doesn’t appear to be the case for certain player in the squad. Following their resounding victory over Senegal in the Round of 16 on Sunday night, several players including Jack Grealish, Mason Mount and Eric Dier were seen training in what looks to be the launch colourway of the next generation Nike Phantom boot.

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For players to switch boots mid-tournament is unusual, but to switch into an all-new unreleased silo in the knockout stages is pretty much unheard of. That alone though – the players’ faith in the boot – must stand as a testament to its quality – got to be good if the players are willing to swap into it. But it’s not like this is something that’s just been created; the Next gen Phantom has been on the radar since early 2022, when Inter’s Roberto Gagliardini was spotted trialling an early prototype. 

What is a surprise though is the timing – arriving out of the blue like this is sure to grab attention. It’s the type of disruptive move that is so perfectly suited to this particular tournament – in amongst any controversy around the setting, Nike are willing to let the players and the product do the talking.

So, what we get here is a vibrant pink upper that’s reminiscent of the bright block colours of the Euro 2012 ‘Clash Pack’. There’s clearly something going on in that upper as well, with a deep, swirling texture running throughout, likely bringing a new technology to the scene. The upper looks to ride high over the laces, creating a larger contact zone that would follow suit with teh Phantom's reputation as a control boot. From this early glance we can only guess at the soleplate, but we imagine there will be some upgrades going on there as well.

No sign yet of fellow Phantom wearers Harry Kane and Phil Foden, but will be interesting to see if they also make the switch in the build up to the France game. All eyes on the Al Bayt Stadium on Saturday night to see if they wear these for the quarter final…

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Watch this space for an official launch date...

Daniel Jones

The Creative Soccer Culture Brief

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