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England’s winners and losers during the Nations League campaign | Dominic Fifield

Trent Alexander-Arnold and Joe Gomez did their cases no harm in Portugal and Harry Winks strengthened his in absentia

Sunday afternoon at the Estádio D Afonso Henriques stadium and Gareth Southgate found himself once again fielding questions over the level of perceived progress in the year since the World Cup finals. England’s Nations League campaign had delivered another semi-final defeat but a first third-place finish in 51 years, no goals mustered from open play but a second successive penalty shootout success. “But the biggest sign of progress was the mentality of everyone after the loss to the Netherlands,” the manager said. “Once we’d calmed all the emotion, the theories as to why we’d lost, the drive was there. We weren’t satisfied and everyone wanted to make sure it was beyond a semi-final next time. That’s the healthiest sign for me.”

Southgate will attend the Under?21 European Championship in Italy and San Marino, urging on a team who might have called on Dele Alli, Trent Alexander-Arnold and Joe Gomez, before thoughts drift to the autumn Euro 2020 qualifiers to come. So which players impressed during the two-matches in Guimarães to establish themselves in the manager’s thoughts and whose stars have waned?

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