Seven players who prove Jadon Sancho can make major England impact at Euro 2020

England demands Jadon Sancho right now, and Gareth Southgate is resisting. However, history suggests caution may not be required.

Before Scotland, it was Jack Grealish who England fans demanded to see. After Scotland, it appears Jadon Sancho is the man in demand.

With good reason, too. The Borussia Dortmund star has shone in Germany for two years now as not just one of the most exciting attacking talents in the Bundesliga, but in the whole of Europe.

He is yet to play a minute of soccer at Euro 2020, though, and Southgate appears resolute in his handling of the youngster.

"We've got some explosive options and a lot of them are young players and experiencing a big tournament for the first time," Southgate explained.

"So as a coaching staff we are realistic about our expectations of them as individuals.

"Jadon is in that mix. He's trained well the last few days and of course we have got those options and those decisions to make."

However, Southgate only need look at England history to see how much 'young players experiencing a tournament for the first time' can offer the Three Lions.

Alan Ball (1966 World Cup)

Let's start with the most important example. People can say, with a degree of justification, that the pressures of social media and the modern media make 2021 completely unrelatable to 1966.

However, we should also not underestimate the pressures of playing in a World Cup for an expectant host nation at just 20 years old - not the achievement of actually winning it.

When Ball lined up against Uruguay at Wembley for England's opening group match it was just his 11th cap for England.

He sat out the next two matches against Mexico and France, but played the rest of the tournament, culminating in him lifting the World Cup after his 14th appearance for his country.

Paul Gascoigne (1990 World Cup)

Paul Gascoigne
Paul Gascoigne

This one maybe factors into Gareth Southgate's thinking when it comes to Jadon Sancho.

Italia 90 was Gazza's only World Cup, and that is a desperate shame for just about everyone. England failed to qualify in 1994 and Glenn Hoddle controversially omitted him from the squad for France 98.

Many have speculated that Gascoigne's career path was ultimately dictated by the sheer pressures of Italia 90 and the sudden spotlight it thrust upon him.

That said, there were some unique flaws in Gazza's complex psyche, and no one can deny he was star of the show that summer - and not just for England.

In case you were wondering, Gascoigne started England's World Cup opener that year with just nine senior caps behind him.

David Platt (1990 World Cup)

Gazza's brilliance at Italia 90 often leads us to overlook the fact that he was not the only player to made a major breakthrough for the Three Lions that summer.

Platt only made his England debut six months before being named in Bobby Robson's World Cup squad, and he had to wait for his chance.

When that chance came, he certainly took it, brilliantly volleying England into the quarter-finals with a last-gasp winner against Belgium.

It was the first match Platt had played in the tournament after being an unused substitute in the previous three, but his impact was lasting.

He scored again against Cameroon in the following round.

Gareth Southgate (Euro 96)

While a little older at 25, Southgate himself serves an example of a player shining in his first major international tournament.

We all remember how the tournament ended for Southgate, with a missed penalty and Pizza Hut commercial, but he genuinely shined for Terry Venables' side before then.

He started every match for England despite having just four caps behind him at the start of the tournament, making Sancho a veritable veteran by comparison with his 19 appearances to date.

It is also worth pointing out that to his right in England's superb back four for that tournament was Gary Neville, who was just 21 years old and possessing half the caps Sancho currently boasts.

Michael Owen (1998 World Cup)

Perhaps France 98 shows both sides of the argument. On the one hand, there was David Beckham.

There was a national outcry when Darren Anderton started their opener ahead of the Manchester United icon, although Beckham soon made his mark with a goal against Colombia in the second match.

We all know how the tournament ended for him, though, and of course inexperience was behind his petulant dismissal against Argentina.

On the other hand, though, there was Michael Owen.

Owen was just 18 years old but he produced for England, first scoring against Romania after coming off the bench, and then hitting one of the greatest World Cup goals of all time against Argentina shortly before Beckham's dismissal.

Southgate should certainly remember it considering he was watching in awe on the England bench that night.

Ashley Cole (2002 World Cup)

Ashley Cole was around for so long and so dependable for England that it's sometimes hard to remember him as a fresh-faced rookie, for that's what he was at the 2002 World Cup in South Korea and Japan.

England's first match of the tournament against Sweden was Cole's ninth cap, and he played every match for Sven-Goran Eriksson that summer.

Wayne Rooney (Euro 2004)

Okay, Wayne Rooney was always a very special case. However, he was also once an 18-year-old kid playing his first major tournament for England.

What a tournament he played, too. In Portugal he scored four goals in three matches before a broken metatarsal forced him off against the hosts in the quarter-final.

Ironically, it wasn't until two years later when he had a lot more international experience that Rooney let England down, getting sent off against Portugal in the 2006 World Cup quarter-final.

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