MIDFIELDER Andy King says it’s “massively important” that Chris Coleman stays on as national manager as Wales set their sights on qualifying for Euro 2020.

Coleman said after leading the country to the Euro 2016 semi-finals that he would quit at the end of the 2018 World Cup qualifying campaign.

Last month’s defeat to the Republic of Ireland in the final qualifier meant that Wales will not be heading to Russia next summer.

But Coleman has discussed staying on as manager with the Football Association and King says the players would love him to lead them into the next campaign.

“It’s massively important for us,” said the Leicester City man ahead of Friday’s friendly international against France in Paris.

“I’m sure you’re all well aware what the players think of him as a man and as a manager.

“The things he’s achieved with the country have been absolutely outstanding and you can see when the players go out on the pitch they’ll give their all for him, as they do for the country.

“We as players want him to stay on. Obviously it’s up to him and the FAW how they move forward but, as you can see from the performances that we’ve put in, the players are always right behind him.

“I think he knows what the group thinks of him. It’s a good relationship and one that we hope can continue.”

Gareth Bale is one of a number of players to be ruled out of Friday’s match and the home friendly against Panama next Tuesday night but there is plenty of youthful talent in the squad.

And King feels that the potential of youngsters like Liverpool’s Ben Woodburn, Chelsea’s Ethan Ampadu and Sheffield United’s David Brooks could persuade Coleman to stay on.

“I think he’s seen that the Wales success isn’t going to come to an end any time soon with the quality of young players that we’ve got coming through,” said King.

“Hopefully we’ll get to see a glimpse of them over the next two games.

“They are really outstanding players who are at good clubs so they are going to be learning all the time.

“So I think that will be a major factor for him, knowing that he’s got these players who can he can give experience while the older players are still around and then further down the line maybe move them into those positions.”

He added:”There are a lot of them. We’ve seen a glimpse of Ben Woodburn, Ethan played in the cup for Chelsea and has done really well, Brooksy has been scoring goals for Sheffield United so there’s not just one or two.

“They’ve got good heads on their shoulders and they’re will to learn so that can only be good for the future.

“From what I’ve seen in their league form and in training I think they’re definitely ready to take their chance.

“The gaffer will make them feel as comfortable as possible going onto the international stage and what a great honour for them to hopefully represent their country.”

Former Newport County AFC star Lee Evans will hope to win his first senior cap at the age of 23 against France or Panama.

Current Exiles academy striker Momodou Touray, who is on loan at Merthyr Town, scored for Wales under-19s today.

Touray equalised for the Wales youngsters against Slovakia but they suffered a 2-1 defeat in the 2018 European Under-19 Championship qualifier in Turkey.