Every England player to make their debut under Gareth Southgate
You may regard him as tactically primitive, but you cannot deny that Gareth Southgate has helped a nation fall in love with its national team again.
Success in the form of silverware is yet to arrive, but the Three Lions are edging closer. The current England squad is as likeable as its ever been, and their talent matches their harmonious team dynamics. It's an environment every English footballer wants to be a part of.
Chances have been granted to an endless list of names since Southgate took over, and while some like to criticise the boss for having supposed favourites, there's no denying he's handed out opportunities to every player who's deserved a shot of making a name for themself on the international stage.
Southgate has handed out 55 England debuts since he took over as boss in September 2016. Here's a list of every single one.
1. Jesse Lingard
Debut: October 2016 vs Malta
Southgate's first starting XI as England boss included debutant Jesse Lingard. The late-blooming Man Utd star was a protagonist in the Three Lions set-up for a while and he played a key role in their journey to the World Cup semi-finals in 2018.
He's scored six times in 32 caps for England.
2. Aaron Cresswell
Debut: November 2016 vs Spain
An injury to Danny Drinkwater - remember him?! - saw steady West Ham defender Aaron Cresswell earn his first England call-up.
His international career was brief as he only made three appearances, and he made his debut in a 2-2 draw with Spain at Wembley.
3. Michael Keane, James Ward-Prowse & Nathan Redmond
Debut: March 2017 vs Germany
Southampton tandem Nathan Redmond and James Ward-Prowse both made their England bows in a March 2017 friendly against Germany. It was Redmond's only appearance for his country.
Burnley defender Michael Keane started the contest on his first cap as England were beaten 1-0.
4. Kieran Trippier
Debut: June 2017 vs France
The scorer of one of England's greatest ever goals given the context, Trippier's international career started in Paris as Southgate's side were beaten by ten-man France.
Ousmane Dembele scored the winner 15 minutes from time after Raphael Varane was sent off at the start of the second half.
Trippier has since earned 41 caps for his country, with his only goal arriving in a World Cup semi-final.
5. Harry Maguire & Harry Winks
Debut: October 2017 vs Lithuania
Two Harrys were spotted in an England shirt for the very first time in Lithuania.
This was the beginning of Southgate's love affair with Maguire, who has been a cornerstone of his tenure, while Winks has drifted out of the limelight after initially promising so much.
6. Jack Cork, Tammy Abraham, Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Jordan Pickford & Joe Gomez
Debut: November 2017 vs Germany
This Wembley friendly against Germany saw a bunch of new faces make their respective debuts. Southgate handed five players their first cap in this fixture.
While Cork (one cap), Abraham (11 caps), Gomez (11 caps), and Loftus-Cheek (ten caps) have each struggled to make a name for themselves on the international stage, Pickford has blossomed into a cult hero.
England's number one has barely put a foot wrong since his integration and has starred at three major tournaments.
7. Dominic Solanke
Debut: November 2017 vs Brazil
A 20-year-old Dominic Solanke hadn't even kicked a ball in the Premier League when he made his England debut against Brazil in November 2017.
He hasn't been capped since, but that isn't to say his international career is over just yet.
8. Lewis Cook & James Tarkowski
Debut: March 2018 vs Italy
Lewis Cook's only England cap netted the player's grandfather £17,000 after he placed a £500 bet at the odds of 33-1 that his 18-year-old grandson would win a senior England cap before his 26th birthday.
Cook was just 21 on debut.
James Tarkowski also made his debut in the same friendly against Italy, but he'd win just one more cap for the Three Lions.
9. Nick Pope & Trent Alexander-Arnold
Debut: June 2018 vs Costa Rica
Trent's tumultuous relationship with the national team began just before the 2018 World Cup against Costa Rica. Pickford's second-in-command, Nick Pope, also earned his first cap.
Southgate's pragmatism and preference for caution have seen the revolutionary right-back overlooked on the international stage. As a result, for all his talent, the Liverpool defender has notched just 18 England caps.
10. Ben Chilwell
Debut: September 2018 vs Switzerland
England returned to action a couple of months after their World Cup heartbreak where Southgate introduced blossoming Leicester defender Ben Chilwell to his squad.
Danny Rose was on the decline, and fresh blood at left-back was needed. Chilwell and Luke Shaw have since emerged as Southgate's preferred options down the left.
11. Jadon Sancho
Debut: October 2018 vs Croatia
This has to be one of the most eagerly-anticipated debuts of the Southgate era, right? Only a few English supporters had caught a glimpse of Jadon Sancho in the Bundesliga before he made his international debut in a Nations League draw with Croatia.
The former Man City academy star has since teased his magic for the national team, but fierce competition in wide areas has often left him on the periphery.
12. Nathaniel Chalobah
Debut: October 2018 vs Spain
How did this happen then?
13. Alex McCarthy, Lewis Dunk & Callum Wilson
Debut: November 2018 vs USA
Most of you will remember this as being Wayne Rooney's final game in an England shirt, but it should be remembered for Alex McCarthy's second-half cameo between the sticks on his sole England cap.
Callum Wilson also scored on debut.
14. Callum Hudson-Odoi & Declan Rice
Debut: March 2019 vs Czech Republic
Another cornerstone of Southgate's England, Declan Rice made his bow under the current incumbent's watch.
The West Ham midfielder had seen his prestige soar in east London, but the vast majority were more intrigued by what Callum Hudson-Odoi could do on debut.
The highly-rated Chelsea teenager became the youngest-ever player to represent England in a competitive international - a record that barely lasted 18 months.
15. Mason Mount
Debut: September 2019 vs Bulgaria
Chelsea's transfer ban forced Frank Lampard's hand during the start of his reign as Blues boss. Thus, academy graduates such as Mason Mount were given a chance to shine, and shine he did.
The elusive midfielder made an immediate impression on Southgate, who quickly called him up to his squad for Euro 2020 qualifiers against Bulgaria and Montenegro. Mount's first cap arrived off the bench in a 4-0 thumping of the former.
He's since been regarded as a highly-valued asset to the Three Lions squad and has earned 36 caps.
16. Tyrone Mings
Debut: October 2019 vs Bulgaria
Mings conducted himself admirably in awful conditions on debut.
The Aston Villa defender was subject to racist abuse in Bulgaria which forced England's Euro 2020 qualifier to be halted twice. It was the visitors who had the last laugh, though, as the hosts were thumped 6-0 as Mings kept a clean sheet.
The left-footed centre-back was later named in Southgate's Euro 2020 squad and he impressed when called upon.
17. James Maddison
Debut: November 2019 vs Montenegro
Southgate has struggled to make room for a player of Maddison's profile in his starting XI, especially at major tournaments. A 3-4-3 was utilised at Euro 2020 before the manager introduced a 4-3-3 at the 2022 World Cup.
Southgate's hesitance to use the creative Maddison has been a distinct source of frustration among supporters. The Leicester playmaker has criminally played just twice for his country. Almost three-and-a-half-years separated his two caps.
18. Fikayo Tomori
Debut: November 2019 vs Kosovo
Southgate's shunning of Tomori is nothing short of bizarre. The defender earned his debut after breaking through at Chelsea, but he's since gone from strength-to-strength at Milan.
Tomori helped the Rossoneri to their first Scudetto in a decade in 2021, but he's constantly been overlooked in the England conversation.
To be fair, he does have elite competition in the form of Eric Dier.
19. Mason Greenwood & Phil Foden
Debut: September 2020 vs Iceland
Phil Foden's England bow was long overdue, but the Covid-19 pandemic brought about delays to the international schedule and the Man City star was forced to wait until September 2020.
England claimed a late 1-0 win, and Foden is yet to dazzle on the international stage.
Mason Greenwood also made his debut.
20. Kalvin Phillips, Ainsley Maitland-Niles, Conor Coady & Jack Grealish
Debut: September 2020 vs Denmark
This was a drab Nations League affair, but at least we got to see Jack Grealish in an England shirt for the first time.
This was the start of the nation's love affair with the Brummie, although such adoration dwindled after his big-money move to Man City. The crafty winger replaced fellow debutant Kalvin Phillips, while Ainsley Maitland-Niles and Conor Coady also earned their first caps.
21. Dominic Calvert-Lewin, Bukayo Saka, Reece James & Harvey Barnes
Debut: October 2020 vs Wales
Four players made their debuts in an October 2020 friendly against Wales, including the irresistible Bukayo Saka and Chelsea full-back Reece James.
Leicester winger Harvey Barnes also made his England bow, while Dominic Calvert-Lewin became the 12th Englishman since 2000 to score on debut.
22. Dean Henderson & Jude Bellingham
Debut: November 2020 vs Republic of Ireland
17-year-old Bellingham smashed Hudson-Odoi's record when he made his debut in a friendly victory over the Republic of Ireland in November 2020.
Dean Henderson also made his England bow, but this contest will be remembered as the starting point of Jude's international legacy.
The sky's the limit for the ludicrously gifted midfielder.
23. Ollie Watkins
Debut: March 2021 vs San Marino
Watkins cashed in against minnows San Marino and joined the list of players to score on their England debuts.
The Aston Villa man has been in red-hot form this season, but the presence of a certain all-time record goalscorer means his opportunities in an England shirt have been limited. He could be around Southgate's setup for a while, though.
24. Ben White & Ben Godfrey
Debut: June 2021 vs Austria
Ben Godfrey was the beneficiary of a bloated squad ahead of the delayed Euros as England took on Austria in a friendly before the tournament got underway.
He didn't make the final squad, although fellow debutant Ben White did. The Arsenal star was also picked in Southgate's squad for the 2022 World Cup before departing early for specific reasons unknown.
25. Sam Johnstone
Debut: June 2021 vs Romania
Johnstone was a steady customer at West Brom and he was named in Southgate's Euro 2020 squad.
He kept a clean sheet on debut against Romania, but Pickford's brilliance meant he never got a sniff at the Euros. Injuries have since seen him fall out of the England picture.
26. Patrick Bamford
Debut: September 2021 vs Andorra
Marcelo Bielsa had Bamford playing some of the best football of his career and he was duly rewarded with an England call-up.
Lingard starred in the 4-0 win over Andorra in what is Bamford's only England appearance to date.
27. Emile Smith Rowe
Debut: November 2021 vs Albania
Smith Rowe earned his first call-up and cap almost a year on from his breakout Premier League appearance against Chelsea on Boxing Day 2020.
He's featured three times for his country, scoring once, but injuries have taken their toll over the past year.
28. Conor Gallagher & Aaron Ramsdale
Debut: November 2021 vs San Marino
Ramsdale's first England cap was a breeze as England put ten past San Marino in a World Cup qualifier. Despite his impressive form for Arsenal, Pickford's reliability for the national team means he's only earned three caps.
Conor Gallagher also took to the pitch that night, and he's since emerged as a useful option off the bench for Southgate.
29. Marc Guehi, Tyrick Mitchell & Kyle Walker-Peters
Debut: March 2022 vs Switzerland
Crystal Palace duo Marc Guehi and Tyrick Mitchell have combined for five England caps since they made their debuts against Switzerland in a friendly last year.
There was no clean sheet for starter Guehi as Breel Embolo opened the scoring. Kyle Walker-Peters also started the game on his first England appearance.
30. James Justin & Jarrod Bowen
Debut: June 2022 vs Hungary
These two were the most recent debutants before the March international break.
England were beaten 1-0 by Hungary away from home when James Justin and Jarrod Bowen, who's been capped four times, made their England bows.
31. Ivan Toney
Debut: March 2023 vs Ukraine
And finally, number 55: Ivan Toney.
Brentford's talisman has been in sparkling form this season, and an England call-up was fully deserved. His cameo off the bench against Ukraine was pretty uneventful, but it may well be the first off many appearances for his country.
He's well worth keeping around for his penalty spot brilliance alone.