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Euro 2020 | Jack Grealish's Calves, Jordan Pickford's Song Choice, Jadon Sancho's Nerves of Steel: Former Teammates Open Up on England Stars Youth Days

England youngsters (AP)

England youngsters (AP)

England youngsters have made a major difference for Gareth Southgate's side including the likes of Phil Foden, Jack Grealish, Bukayo Saka, Mason Mount and Declan Rice.

England’s youngsters have become megastars and there is no denying that this young lot with the Three Lions have reached the finals of the Euros for the first time, whereas legends back in the days struggled to ‘bring it home’ despite boasting of great names. Gareth Southgate, who played for England from 1995 to 2004, making a total of 57 appearances for the nation, now has the opportunity to create history and script a new chapter in England football. Southgate was entrusted with the job as manager after helping England reach the semi-finals of the 2018 World Cup and now, the Englishman has reached the finals of the Euros with talented youngsters.

Recalling the time when England’s stars used to play in youth tournaments, the former teammates of Jack Grealish, Jordan Pickford, Jadon Sancho and Phil Foden talk about how the England players were during their youth days and discussing memorable moments with the current England stars.

Middlesbrough’s Duncan Watmore talked about the 2016 Toulon Tournament where he played alongside Grealish and Pickford. Watmore spoke about him sharing a room with Pickford and barring one or two odd songs the goalie played, he was a ‘great character’ to have around. Watmore stated Pickford was a ‘standout’ player and in the tournament, the Everton keeper conceded two goals in five matches.

Watmore also praised Ben Chilwell and Grealish and stated they make a ‘big difference’ in matches. Other than Grealish’s performances, Watmore is also a fan of the Aston Villa skipper’s ‘calves’. The Middlesbrough striker said that it is a ‘dream’ to play with Grealish.

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Talking about Foden and Sancho, Stoke City goalkeeper Josef Burisk said that the Manchester City star will always be found playing touch-ups and kick-ups. The keeper said that he was jealous of Phoden as he would show off his skills and would try to spoil his game. Whereas Sancho, on the other hand, was a ‘chill’ player and would be sitting and listening to music, getting tinto the zone, said Burisk.

Sancho and Foden were a part of England’s squad which won the U-17 World Cup in 2017 in India.

The England youngsters have made a major difference for Southgate’s side including the likes of Foden, Grealish, Bukayo Saka, Mason Mount and Declan Rice. Apart from the talented youth in the group, many players have also found their form in Harry Kane, Raheem Sterling, Harry Maguire, Luke Shaw and Kyle Walker. With youth and experience, Southgate looks to create history as England face Italy in the finals of the 2020 Euros on July 12at the Wembley Stadium in London.

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first published:July 10, 2021, 21:28 IST