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Southgate praises first-time England starters

Gareth Southgate, Dominic Calvert-Lewin, Jack Grealish
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England boss Gareth Southgate has heaped praise on the Everton striker Dominic Calvert-Lewin and the Aston Villa playmaker Jack Grealish.

Southgate’s England thrashed understrength Wales 3-0 at Wembley Stadium in an international friendly clash on Wednesday.

Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Jack Grealish were handed their first international starts, with the former marking his debut with a goal.

The Free-scoring Everton frontman nodded home a strong header 26 minutes into the game to open the scoring. Conor Coady and Danny Ings also got on the scoresheet in the second half to seal the hosts’ triumph.

But, it was Calvert-Lewin who impressed Southgate the most. The 23-year-old has been scoring at will this term, taking his tally for the season to ten already.

During the post-match interview, the Three Lions coach was full of praise for the in-form striker.

“Really good, he [Calvert-Lewin] had an excellent presence, his runs are a threat, he presses well, and he took his goal well,” Southgate said, as relayed by Goal.

“I thought he could be really pleased. I think he is in a really good vein of form.

“He’s an all-round centre-forward. I’ve always liked his general play, but it’s the goals that are making him another level of player.”

Southgate also hailed Grealish, who finally made his first England start.

“His work with the ball was very good,” Gareth added.

“We know he draws those fouls. He’s comfortable receiving the ball in tight areas, and again it was a debut he could be really pleased with.”