After getting a late call-up from Gareth Southgate, Reece James made his senior England debut last night as a second-half substitute. The 20-year-old replaced Kieran Trippier at right wing-back and earned plenty of praise from the TV commentary team.
James wasn’t initially called up, but thanks to an injury to Raheem Sterling as well as the Tammy Birthday Party trio getting held out from training and playing due to coronavirus concerns, he was added to the squad and has now made the first of what are sure to many caps for the national team (even if competition at his spot is very strong, lead by Liverpool’s Trent Alexander-Arnold).
Mason Mount also made a substitute appearance, replacing debutant and absolutely on fire Dominic Calvert-Lewin. The Everton man opened the scoring in the 3-0 win over Wales, for whom Ethan Ampadu started, as usual.
And speaking of the COVID-trio, all three of Tammy Abraham, Ben Chilwell and Jadon Sancho have served their penance and have tested negative for the disease following their ill-advised house party on Saturday to celebrate Tammy’s 23rd birthday, and two of them are set to rejoin their England colleagues for Friday’s UEFA-testing for Sunday’s Nations League match The one (probably) still missing will be Ben Chilwell, who’s come down with the sniffles and will be held out in an abundance of caution. (You certainly won’t find me complaining about players not having to do international duty.)
“Tammy and Jadon have trained independently – with us but in isolation this afternoon. All three players have tested negatively. Ben has had some illness which we think is minor but as a precaution we’ve kept him separate from the group at the moment. There’s probably a strong chance he won’t be with us for the Uefa testing in the morning, which would rule him out for Sunday. We would expect Tammy and Jadon to be available for that.”
-Gareth Southgate; source: Guardian
England will take on League A Group 2-leaders Belgium on Sunday, from whom Michy Batshuayi scored yesterday as their B-team, or maybe even C-team, played out a 1-1 draw with Côte d’Ivoire in Brussels. The dozens of people in the stands enjoyed this one.