FRAIZER Campbell’s England debut will not necessarily be viewed as a sign the Sunderland striker will become an international regular.
With Campbell’s former England U21 boss Stuart Pearce naming a youthful squad in potentially his only game in charge of the national side, the 24-year-old’s call-up has to be viewed as an experimental one, given his return to first-team affairs has been so brief.
But what chance has Campbell got of actually being in the 23-man squad that ventures to Poland and Ukraine for the European Championships?
After watching Campbell in action at Wembley last night, the Echo’s CHRIS YOUNG examines the contenders challenging for England’s frontline posts at the summer’s tournament.
IF only Welbeck had been provided with the same service as England mustered in the finale, then he may have marked his first senior international start with a goal.
Welbeck has clearly matured since spending last season on loan at the Stadium of Light, a spell where former Black Cats boss Steve Bruce believed the Man United striker “became a man”.
The 21-year-old has become a player comfortable with the burden of leading the line – holding the ball up with far more reliability and dropping deep when needed to link the play.
If only Welbeck had benefited from having a creative midfielder in the mould of Wesley Sneijder as a team-mate – the Dutchman showing the aspect of international football England have lacked since Paul Gascoigne, someone capable of finding space and threading a pass.
Instead of quality service either from out wide or through the middle, Welbeck was forced to feed on scraps as England perfected their well-tuned technique of playing it along the back line and then panicking in the opposition half.
Nevertheless, Welbeck has the pace, movement and trickery, shown by a slick exchange of feet in the opening 10 minutes, to prove a success at international level.
With Wayne Rooney banned from the opening two groups games in Poland and Ukraine, there are few better contenders to take his Manchester United team-mate’s place than Welbeck.
VOTED man of the match by the Wembley prawn sandwich brigade, yet guilty of by far the miss of the night.
It was that sort of evening for Sturridge, who burst into the fray with a lightning-quick break down the right flank after replacing the injured Steven Gerrard just after the half-hour mark and then limped off himself late on with a toe problem.
Sturridge was England’s biggest goal threat, drawing a deceptively good save out of Maarten Stekelenburg from Ashley Young’s corner in the second half and then somehow fluffing his lines from Leighton Baines’ ball across the face.
But the Chelsea man crucially provided England with some pace and impetus in a game which was badly lacking both facets.
The debate over whether to include four or five strikers in the final 23-man squad was one that unnecessarily raged prior to the World Cup. But with Sturridge capable of playing either out wide or in a central role, he provides the adaptability to be included in a famous five.
Read Chris Young’s feature in full, plus all the news on Fraizer Campbell’s England bow and all the build-up to the weekend’s Tyne/Wear derby, in today’s Echo.