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Four England players who impressed against Republic of Ireland

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Jack Grealish

The international break is often not an exciting time for fans of the English national team.

The friendlies are largely dull and uninspiring, leaving everyone begging for the Premier League to return. However, Thursday night’s triumph against Republic of Ireland was somewhat different.

While it didn’t match the emotion of Scotland’s Euro 2020 qualifier, it was an impressive performance from Gareth Southgate’s side, cruising to a 3-0 victory.

If this level can be maintained in the upcoming fixtures against Belgium and Iceland, then it will be a highly positive two weeks for the Three Lions.

One thing that friendlies are good for is experimenting. It gives the manager a chance to try out new systems, and players an opportunity to prove their worth.

Southgate’s much-weakened starting XI saw plenty of back-up players stake their claim for a starting berth in the future.

Bukayo Saka

Making just his second appearance for the senior team, Arsenal’s Bukayo Saka put in a Man of the Match display down the left, most notably winning a penalty for Dominic Calvert-Lewin to convert.

With competition on the wings high, Saka might be better off aiming for a full-back spot. Chelsea’s Ben Chilwell seems to be the first choice option at left-back, but should he get injured, the 19-year-old could step up to the plate.

Jack Grealish

Jack Grealish
Grealish is finally making his mark in international football

Southgate has received a lot of criticism for his constant omission of Jack Grealish. However, should he continue to put in displays like this one, then he will surely secure his place in the Euro 2020 squad.

Grealish looked confident every time he was on the ball, often looking to drive forward and create chances. While his end product was a little bit off, he still pulled out some moments of magic, registering an assist for Jadon Sancho.

Mason Mount

Four England players who impressed against Republic of Ireland
Mount played a central role on Thursday

Thursday evening saw Southgate finally drop the use of two defensive midfielders – much to the relief of every watching spectator – and instead go for the far more technical Harry Winks and Mason Mount.

The latter was superb in the middle of the park, looking more effective centrally than out on the right. The Chelsea man kept things ticking in midfield and provided enough energy and composure to comfortably see off their opponents.

Harry Maguire

Unlike the aforementioned names, Harry Maguire is one of the more experienced heads in the England camp. In fact, he was the only player from the 2018 World Cup squad to feature against Ireland.

It hasn’t been an easy ride for Maguire lately at either international or domestic level this season, and after a first-half red card against Denmark in October, many were calling for the £85 million man to be dropped.

He responded to these calls in fine fashion, scoring the opening goal and producing a calm display in the heart of the defence.

What’s next for England?

Belgium v England (Nov 15, Nations League)
England v Iceland (Nov 18, Nations League)

You can watch all Nations League games live here.

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