When Grealish was finally brought on for his first appearance of the tournament as a second-half sub against Scotland, it was Foden who he replaced, which bemused many as England appeared to need as many creative outlets as possible on the pitch.
He was forced into changes for the clash against the Czechs – with Mount ruled out as he was self-isolating following his contact with Billy Gilmour, while Southgate said Foden had been left out due to being on a yellow card.
There was also a sense that the Three Lions boss felt able to take a risk with his selection, with England having already qualified for the last 16 thanks to Denmark’s win over Russia on Monday.
Southgate’s selection paid off – and it has perhaps confirmed to the manager that his ‘fearless’, fast-paced young guns can be relied upon.
Saka was even called upon to show his defensive qualities in the second half as he cut out a ball into Jordan Pickford’s box which had threatened to carve open England’s reaguard.
Watching the game in the ITV studio, pundits Ian Wright, Gary Neville and Roy Keane were unanimous in their praise for the qualities Grealish can Saka can offer.