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Euro 2020 Qualifiers: 3 debutants who impressed for their country

FEATURED COLUMNIST
Top 5 / Top 10
371   //    28 Mar 2019, 16:39 IST

So, that's the last international break of the season done with, then! It's back to club football, and back to title races, and European competition. The business end, as they say.

But, looking back on the last week of action of qualifying for Euro 2020, there have been some stellar performances. A much-changed German side went to Amsterdam and beat the high-flying Netherlands 3-2. A young, vibrant England pumped in ten goals in two games, past the hapless Czech Republic. Italy and Spain recorded two rather comfortable victories as well.

But, going with the theme of previous international breaks this season, it has once again been some youngsters, making their debuts for the country, who have caught the eye.

Declan Rice and Callum Hudson-Odoi made their first starts for England, Serge Gnabry and Leroy Sane, although reasonably experienced, tormented the Dutch, in their new roles as the strikers for Germany.

Young Jadon Sancho was terrific against the Czechs, as well. So, it was a good international break for the youngsters, just like the ones in the autumn made the world stand up and take notice of Frenkie de Jong and Matthijs de Ligt, who were stellar for the Dutch.

So, which debutants caught the eye this time? We take a look.


#3 Mario Hermoso

Mario Hermoso made his first competitive start for Spain against Malta
Mario Hermoso made his first competitive start for Spain against Malta

After Gerard Pique's retirement from international football, which was announced after last summer's FIFA World Cup, Spain head coach Luis Enrique has tried both Nacho Fernandez and Inigo Martinez, but he might have finally arrived at a solution for the long-term partner to captain Sergio Ramos.

Espanyol's Hermoso made his first competitive start for La Roja in their away game against Malta, and in addition to keeping a clean sheet, he also popped up with an assist for Alvaro Morata's first goal.

Hermoso already made his debut in Spain's November friendly against Bosnia-Herzegovina but was given his competitive debut against a team ranked 182 in the world - the third worst in Europe.

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Despite Spain having 80% of the ball, and next to no threat being offered by Malta, Hermoso's performance at centre-back stood out. His confidence and more importantly, his ability to play with the ball at his feet stood out.

There will be tougher tests for sure, but if the start was anything to go by, Hermoso will play a lot more games for Spain in the near future.

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