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Euro 2020

Where England stars had their debuts, from Jordan Pickford’s Darlington breakthrough to Tyrone Mings at Yate Town

ENGLAND are gearing up to play their first European Championship semi-final since 1996.

Victory over Denmark on Wednesday night would see them reach the final for the first time, while they would have a chance of winning the country’s first major tournament since 1966.

Gareth Southgate has guided England to back-to-back semi-finals in major tournaments

Gareth Southgate boasts a number of world class players in his ranks, with Harry Kane, Raheem Sterling and Jordan Pickford all impressing.

But what clubs did his star-studded squad make their first-team debuts at? SunSport takes a look below…

Jordan Pickford – GK

Just like Denmark’s Kasper Schmeichel, the Everton shot-stopper started off his career on loan at Darlington from Sunderland.

Joining in January 2012, he played 17 times for the Quakers, but was unable to help them avoid relegation from the-then Conference.

Loan moves to Alfreton Town, Burton Albion, Carlisle, Bradford and Preston followed before he got his chance in the Sunderland starting XI.

Sam Johnstone – GK

The West Brom man, 28, joined Stockport County on loan from Manchester United in the 2011-12 campaign.

He appeared in 12 League Ones games between September and January before returning to Old Trafford.

Walsall were then the next club he was shipped out to, with moves to Yeovil, Doncaster, Preston and Villa following before joining the Baggies on a permanent deal in 2018.


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Everton goalkeeper Jordan Pickford made his breakthrough on loan at Darlington

Aaron Ramsdale – GK

Ramsdale, who replaced the injured Dean Henderson in the England squad, came through the ranks at Sheffield United.

His debut for the Blades came against Leyton Orient in an FA Cup tie in November 2016.

He was sold to Bournemouth during the winter transfer window, before returning to his former stomping ground last summer on a permanent transfer.

Kyle Walker – RB

Like Ramsdale, Walker was part of the Blades’ academy, but it was at Northampton Town where he made his professional debut.

The 31-year-old featured in nine League One games for the Cobblers at the start of the 2008-09 season before returning to United in January.

After helping United reach the Championship play-off final against Burnley, where they lost 1-0, he was sold to Tottenham, before re-joining the club on loan for the 2009-10 term.

Three Lions right-back Kyle Walker featured nine times for Northampton Town during his loan

Kieran Trippier’s first taste of professional football came at Barnsley

Kieran Trippier – RB

Despite impressing in Manchester City’s academy, the Atletico Madrid defender never made a first-team appearance at the Etihad.

His first taste of professional football came during his loan spell at Barnsley, making his debut in a defeat to Middlesbrough in 2010.

After two loan spells at Oakwell he joined Burnley in 2011, where he stayed until 2015 before linking up with Walker at Tottenham.

Reece James – RB

The Chelsea ace, 21, starred during his loan at Wigan in the 2018-19 Championship campaign.

Despite the Latics finishing in 18th spot, James was named in the Championship Team of the Season.

He also won Wigan’s Player of the Year award, as well as the Players’ Player of the Year trophy.

Harry Maguire – CB

Another product of the Sheffield United academy, the Manchester United skipper made his debut for the Blades against Cardiff in April 2011.

Despite coming on as a second half substitute, he was named as the man of the match.

He made four more appearances that season, but was unable to help United avoid relegation into League One.

John Stones – CB

The three-time Premier League winner, 27, made his debut for Barnsley in March 2012 in a 4-0 Championship defeat against Reading.

After 28 appearances for the Yorkshire outfit, he was sold to Everton in January 2013, before joining Manchester City for £50million in 2016.

Manchester United ace Harry Maguire came through the ranks at Sheffield United

John Stones earned a move to Everton after bursting on the scene at Barnsley

Tyrone Mings – CB

The Aston Villa defender has had a remarkable rise to the top after beginning his career at non-league outfit Yate Town.

In 2012 he considered quitting football, before joining Southern League Premier Division club Chippenham Town.

During his time there he worked as a barman and mortgage advisor, before getting his big break at Ipswich in December 2012, where he made his debut for the club five months later.

Conor Coady – CB

The Wolves centre-half made his professional debut for Liverpool in the Europa League tie against Russian outfit Anzhi Makhachkala in November 2012.

He appeared in one more game for the Reds – a 3-1 Premier League win against Fulham in May 2013 – before being sent out on loan to Sheffield United.

Coady was then sold to Huddersfield in 2014, before joining Wolves for £2m a year later.

Aston Villa centre-half Tyrone Mings started off his career at non-league side Yate Town

Ben White – CB

The Brighton fan favourite, 23, got his breakthrough on loan at Welsh side Newport in the 2017-18 League Two season.

He was then shipped off to League One club Peterborough the following campaign, before helping Leeds win the Championship title in 2020.

After three years away from the Amex Stadium, White became an established member of the Brighton team last season under Graham Potter – appearing in 36 top-flight games.

Luke Shaw – LB

The 25-year-old burst on the scene at Southampton where he made his debut at the age of 16 in an FA Cup tie against Millwall in January 2012.

Shaw was the Saints’ first-choice left-back following their promotion to the Premier League in 2012.

After being named in the PFA Team of the Year in 2014, he joined Manchester United for a fee believed to be in the region of £30m.

Luke Shaw made 67 appearances for Southampton before signing for the Red Devils

Ben Chilwell – LB

The Chelsea man, 24, made his professional debut in October 2015 for Leicester in the League Cup defeat against Hull.

A month later he joined Huddersfield on loan where he appeared in eight Championship games.

He returned to the King Power Stadium in January 2016, where he played in the Foxes’ FA Cup third round ties against Tottenham.

Declan Rice – DM

The West Ham defensive midfielder has only ever known life at the London Stadium.

Rice, 22, made his debut for the Hammers on the last day of the 2016-17 season against Burnley, where he came on as a late substitute.

In the last three years, Rice, who was capped three times by Ireland in 2018, has missed just ten Premier League games.

Kalvin Phillips – DM

Like Rice, Phillips is a one-club man having only represented Leeds since making his debut in April 2015 against Wolves.

The 25-year-old has played 211 times for the Whites in all competitions.

And he boasts 13 caps for the Three Lions since making his debut under Gareth Southgate against Denmark in September.

Declan Rice made his debut for West Ham against Burnley in May 2017

Leeds star Kalvin Phillips has been a key player for the club since his first appearance in 2015

Jordan Henderson – CM

Liverpool’s captain fantastic started off his career at hometown club Sunderland – appearing in the 5-0 defeat against Chelsea in November 2008.

He featured in a League Cup tie against Blackburn the following month, before joining Coventry on loan in January 2009.

Upon his return to the Stadium of Light, he became a key player for the Black Cats, resulting in him joining the Reds in 2011.

Jude Bellingham – CM

Incredibly, it hasn’t even been two years since the 18-year-old made his debut for Birmingham.

He became the Blues’ youngest-ever player at the age of 16 years and 38 days when he started in the League Cup game against Portsmouth in August 2019.

After just one season at St Andrew’s, Bellingham joined Borussia Dortmund in July 2020, with Birmingham subsequently retiring his No22 shirt.

Teenage midfielder Jude Bellingham became Birmingham’s youngest-ever player in August 2019

Mason Mount – AM/CM

The Chelsea playmaker made his debut abroad in Holland during loan spell at Vitesse in the 2017-18 season.

Mount’s first of his 39 games for the Dutch outfit came against AZ Alkmaar in August 2017.

He was then sent off loan to Derby the following campaign, before making his first competitive appearance for the Blues against Manchester United in August 2019.

Phil Foden – AM

The 21-year-old Manchester City star made his debut for the Citizens in a November 2017 Champions League tie against Feyenoord.

In total, he has chipped in with 31 goals in 124 games for the Citizens, where he has won the Premier League three times.

He has also won the FA Cup once as well as the League Cup on three occasions, while also winning the 2021 PFA Young Player of the Year award.

Jack Grealish – AM/LW

The Aston Villa maestro, 25, made his debut at League One side Notts County in September 2013.

He finished the 2013/14 season with five goals from 39 games in all competitions.

And he has been a key player for the Villans since returning from his stint at Meadow Park, where he has appeared in 213 games for his boyhood club.

Chelsea playmaker Mason Mount made his professional debut on loan at Dutch club Vitesse

Jack Grealish spent the 2013/14 season on loan at League One outfit Notts County

Bukayo Saka – LW/RW

The Arsenal youngster, 19, made his first-team debut in the Europa League clash against Vorskla Poltava in November 2018.

His first season saw him feature just four times, before appearing in 38 matches during the 2019-20 campaign.

And after taking the No7 shirt at the Emirates last summer, he has arguably become the Gunners’ most-important player, with fans voting him as their 2021 Player of the Year.

Jadon Sancho – RW

Like Mount, Sancho made his debut away from England having joined Borussia Dortmund from Manchester City in 2017.

His first BVB outing came in October 2017 as a substitute against Eintracht Frankfurt, where he became the first Englishman to play for the club.

After 50 goals in 137 games for the Bundesliga giants, he will link up with the Red Devils after Euro 2020.

Arsenal winger Bukayo Saka made his debut in the Europa League in November 2018

Jadon Sancho made his debut for Borussia Dortmund against Eintracht Frankfurt in October 2017

Raheem Sterling – LW

Sterling, who has banged in three goals at the European Championship so far, joined Liverpool from Queens Park Rangers’ academy in 2010.

And after standout displays for the Reds’ youth team, he made his professional debut in a Premier League clash against Wigan in March 2012.

After 23 goals in 129 games for the Merseyside giants, he joined City in 2015 in a deal rising to £49m.

Marcus Rashford – LW/ST

Following an injury crisis at Manchester United, Rashford started against Midtjylland in a Europa League Round of 32 second leg tie on February, 26, 2016.

It proved to be a memorable one as he scored twice, as he helped the Red Devils advance into the next round.

Three days later he featured against Arsenal in the Premier League where he again banged in two goals as United won 3-2.


Raheem Sterling’s first of his 129 games for Liverpool came against Wigan in March 2012

Gareth Southgate is yet to beat Denmark as England manager

Dominic Calvert-Lewin – ST

Another England star that came through Sheffield United’s academy, the Everton striker made his professional debut on loan at Northern Premier League side Stalybridge Celtic.

He scored twice on his first appearance for the club in December 2014, with the player finishing his loan spell with six goals in five games.

Another loan spell at Northampton followed the next season before he was snapped up by the Toffees in 2016.

Harry Kane – ST

The England captain enjoyed four loan spells away from Tottenham before becoming a key player for the club.

He made his senior debut at Leyton Orient on January 15, 2011, where he scored five times in 18 League One games.

Kane then was shipped off to Millwall, Norwich and Leicester before being given his chance at Spurs in the 2013-14 campaign.

Harry Kane scored five goals in 18 League One games during his loan at Leyton Orient