5 key learnings from England's first Euro 2024 warm-up win

  • England beat Bosnia and Herzegovina 3-0 in friendly on Monday
  • Goals came courtesy of Cole Palmer, Trent Alexander-Arnold and Harry Kane
  • Takeaways and analysis from match at St James' Park
Palmer scored his first England goal
Palmer scored his first England goal / James Gill - Danehouse/GettyImages

England strolled to a 3-0 win against Bosnia and Herzegovina on Monday night as they resumed their preparations for Euro 2024.

Cole Palmer, Trent Alexander-Arnold and Harry Kane grabbed the goals as the Three Lions put in a fine second-half display up at St James' Park.

Only one friendly remains before England's European Championship campaign kicks off.

So what did we learn from this penultimate warm-up?

Trent Alexander-Arnold has to play...somewhere

Trent Alexander-Arnold
A maestro, a magician / Justin Setterfield/GettyImages

The pose, the grace, the technique. No player in the England squad has a skillset quite like Alexander-Arnold's.

Even before scoring with a fine volley, the 25-year-old was the standout performer at St James' Park, spraying passes in midfield before reverting to his natural right-back role and still getting involved on the ball, notably switching the ball so effortlessly in a real win for fans of satisfying footballing aesthetics.

Gareth Southgate has made a point of naming Alexander-Arnold as a midfielder in recent squads, calling upon his dangerous whipped passing higher up the pitch. This is most likely where he'll start at Euro 2024, but it's still worth reverting him to right-back in place of Kyle Walker in games and situations in which England are expected to have more possession.

Crystal Palace, England's new hotbed of talent

Eberechi Eze
What a player he is, by the way / Justin Setterfield/GettyImages

Four Crystal Palace players in the provisional squad, Gareth? Four? That's insane.

Well, it turns out it isn't actually that insane.

All three of the Eagles' outfielders called up to the preliminary England setup got a run-out against Bosnia and Herzegovina, and all three impressed.

Marc Guehi was perhaps the most understated of the performers, filling in seamlessly at centre-back. Reports on Monday claimed injuries to John Stones and Harry Maguire will see Guehi start England's first few games at Euro 2024, and this was a reassuring reminder of his credentials.

Further up the pitch, Eberechi Eze danced and pranced his way from trailing legs, looking a lot like the Jack Grealish that became the nation's heartthrob at the last European Championships.

And then there was everyone's new favourite deep-lying playmaker, Adam Wharton. Oh boy, what a class act this kid is.

Palace's young core might not play a whole lot of meaningful minutes at Euro 2024, but they'll be in England squads for many years to come.

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The fringe players who made good impressions...

Jack Grealish
Grealish looked like his old self / Stu Forster/GettyImages

Speaking of Grealish, the Manchester City star exuded a confidence and freedom off the bench that hasn't really been seen since his £100m move to the Etihad Stadium.

He even came up with the assist for Alexander-Arnold, putting in a teasing cross towards the back post for the Liverpool man to caress in back across goal.

Aston Villa's Ezri Konsa also performed admirably as an all-action utility man at the back, playing all three defensive positions at some point across the 90 minutes, while Palmer signed off a decent display with his first goal for England.

...And the fringe players who did not

Ollie Watkins, Nikola Katić
Watkins drew a blank / Eurasia Sport Images/GettyImages

Competition for places is tough, and it's understandable if some players are feeling the heat.

Despite an incredible season at club level in which he tallied 27 goals and 13 assists, Ollie Watkins failed to prove his worth up front in an England shirt again. Jarrod Bowen, though more spritely and useful from the wing, played well, but faces an unenviable task of competing with Bukayo Saka, Phil Foden and Palmer for his spot.

Captain for the night Kieran Trippier started at left-back, but again showed just how important it is for a left-footed player to run that channel. Substitutes Jarrad Branthwaite, James Maddison and Joe Gomez were involved when they were introduced, but not really in a meaningful way.

Southgate's core spots have been locked up but that last friendly on Friday against Iceland could get tense for those uncertain of their place on the plane to Germany.

Harry Kane is a big ol' freak, and that's a good thing

Harry Kane, James Maddison
Welcome back, captain / Richard Sellers/Allstar/GettyImages

"He had the audacity to ask to come on and to score the penalty which was never going to happen," Southgate said of Kane post-match, perhaps a little reminiscent of that time the striker swore on his daughter's life that a goal he scored for Tottenham Hotspur was his and not that of Christian Eriksen.

That's Kane - a goal-hungry freak who wants to score at all times, even when he's dropping deep to dictate play and come up with those stunning cross-field balls. There was even a few signs of the Kane of old creeping back in, lashing searching shots from 25 yards.

Kane is England's all-time leading scorer for a reason, and after a debut season at Bayern Munich yielded zero trophies, he'll be all the more keen to get his hands on silverware this summer.