Manager Gareth Southgate was shorn of the Manchester City, Chelsea and Manchester United players likely to be key at the upcoming tournament, and he fielded a relatively inexperienced team for Wednesday's friendly in Middlesbrough.
It was one of the youngsters to have made the final 26-man squad who proved decisive, Arsenal winger Saka tucking into an empty net early in the second half to mark his fifth Three Lions appearance with a maiden goal.
3 - @BukayoSaka87 (19y 270d) is only the third teenager to score for @England as an Arsenal player, after Theo Walcott in 2008 and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain in 2012 & 2013. Moment. #ThreeLions pic.twitter.com/UrOCRg1Iio— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) June 2, 2021
Yet the biggest moment came late on, when Alexander-Arnold – whose inclusion in the squad has been a hot topic – suffered an apparent muscular injury in inconspicuous circumstances, which will surely cast doubt over his availability for the tournament.