Kane netted within two minutes of coming on | Ian Walton/Getty Images
The 2000s have been quite a miserable time for fans of the English national team. So many jokes, so many sneers, but not many oh so nears.
There was the abject failure of the so-called ‘Golden Generation’, the utter nonsense of Roy Hodgson’s tenure, Big Sam’s one-game reign of terror, the waistcoat revolution – the whole lot. And what is left to show for it? One semi-final.
Steve McClaren *shudders* | Clive Mason/Getty Images
But it’s not all been doom and gloom. Occasionally a shining light emerges from the darkness, and gives the watching nation hope for the future.
There is little more exciting than watching a player make their debut, and that excitement ramps up tenfold when they make an instant impact. Here is every single player from the last 20 years to score on their England debut.
Vassell with a spectacular equaliser | Alex Livesey/Getty Images
Aston Villa forward Darius Vassell was given the call up by Sven Goran Eriksson as a 21-year-old against the Netherlands, and he made his mark with a stunning bicycle kick from David Beckham’s cross to make the game 1-1.
Vassell played 22 times for England from 2002 to 2004, featuring at two tournaments.
Francis Jeffers netted England’s only goal in a home defeat | Jamie McDonald/Getty Images
Francis Jeffers, the man you may remember from an old Football Manager save, headed home Jermaine Jenas’ cross to pull one back against Australia.
Jeffers’ debut came on the same day as Wayne Rooney’s first cap. One of them went on to be the country’s all time top goalscorer. The other one never earned another cap.
Wright-Phillips celebrates with Jermain Defoe | Gary M. Prior/Getty Images
In the first of his 36 England appearances, pacy winger Shaun Wright-Phillips excited the nation with a fine solo goal, picking the ball up from inside his own half, driving forward, and slotting into the far corner.
Richardson bagged a brace against USA | Phil Cole/Getty Images
When it comes to England debuts, very few have been more impressive than Kieran Richardson’s.
The Manchester United youngster opened his account just four minutes in with a fantastic free kick, and then doubled his tally just before half time from Joe Cole’s lay-off.
Nugent steals in for his only international goal | Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images
David Nugent’s 11-minute cameo against Andorra is the shortest England career of anyone who has ever played for the national team.
The Preston man marked the occasion with a 0-yard screamer. Clinical.
Caulker puts England 2-1 ahead | Michael Regan/Getty Images
Quick show of hands: how many of you knew that Steven Caulker had an England cap? Keep your hand raised if you knew he scored on that England cap.
In the 38th minute of an away fixture against Sweden, Caulker converted Steven Gerrard’s free kick at the back post to put Roy Hodgson’s side 2-1 up.
However, his debut goal was overshadowed by a quite sensational four-goal haul by Zlatan Ibrahimovic, including his memorable 30-yard bicycle kick.
After a strong loan spell at QPR and a stint in the first team at Tottenham, Andros Townsend was handed his first England call up.
He marked his debut with a fantastic goal, pinging in a 25-yarder off the post with his weaker right foot.
What could be better than scoring on your first appearance?
Scoring with your first touch, that’s what.
Southampton striker Rickie Lambert headed in Leighton Baines’ corner less than three minutes after coming on. The goal ended up being the winner, as England defeated Scotland 3-2 at Wembley.
The current England captain made his much-anticipated international debut in 2015 when he replaced Wayne Rooney in the 71st minute. Two minutes later, he got himself on the scoresheet, nodding in from Raheem Sterling’s cross. Whatever happened to him?
When it comes to debut goals, Marcus Rashford is something of an expert. The Manchester United man has bagged on his professional debut, Premier League debut, EFL Cup debut, Champions League debut, AND England debut.
For the national side, he found the net early on with an emphatic volley from eight yards out.
Wilson netted England’s third | Shaun Botterill/Getty Images
Bournemouth’s Callum Wilson became the first debut goalscorer of the Gareth Southgate era when his scuffed volley from Fabian Delph’s cross squeezed in at the near post. Wilson has since made three more appearances on the international stage.
Calvert-Lewin headed in from close range | CARL RECINE/Getty Images
Everton forward Dominic Calvert-Lewin became the latest Englishman to score on their first cap on Thursday night, nodding past Wayne Hennessey from Jack Grealish’s cross. England would go on to win the game 3-0, with Conor Coady and Danny Ings also netting their first international goals.