Dele Alli didn't quite match his stellar Spurs form from 2016/17, scoring nine Premier League goals compared to 18 a season earlier, so talk has turned to Lingard displacing his Premier League rival in England's XI. "If it's complicated it [selection], it's in a really good way", said a coy Southgate.
England are not only one of the youngest in the tournament - only France and Nigeria have younger squads - they have the fewest caps of any squad. "I'd say so, I just tried to play free today and enjoy myself". To keep striving and keeping wanting more, to keep improving. Southgate acknowledged concerns about a lack of experience but claimed it was outweighed by the benefits.
We've a sneaking suspicion this won't go down too well with Manchester United supporters. The Leicester defender was not put under any pressure by a disappointing Costa Rica side, but did nothing wrong and always found his man when carrying the ball out of defence.
We were reminded of that once again on Thursday night as England played their final World Cup warm-up game on home soil.
Though perhaps a better problem to have than others experienced by England managers in recent years, the performance presents something of a quandary for Southgate, posing the hard question: should Rashford start over Manchester City's Raheem Sterling?
The Duke of Cambridge also took time to personally praise Danny Rose for recently going public about his battle with depression. "As a team, we are hugely supportive of what he's done".More news: USA soldier killed, 4 others wounded in 'enemy attack' in Somalia
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"That's what helps push us all to be better - that's the way it should be", he told Sky Sports. You get a closer connection.
But since then, successive England teams have struggled to live up to sometimes unrealistic expectations, failing to win at the World Cup and the European Championships.
The Manchester United forward was among 10 alterations to the starting line-up, with Trent Alexander-Arnold holding his own on his Three Lions debut and Fabian Delph impressing on his first England start since November 2015. He has discussed with his players comments made by Rio Ferdinand, Frank Lampard and Steven Gerrard about bitter inter-club rivalries destroying the spirit within England camps at previous tournaments.
"I will play wherever he wants me to play - whether that is a more protective role or a more advanced role", said the Liverpool captain.
It was a bright start for the Three Lions and they almost got in front in the opening minutes but Phil Jones' effort was tipped over for a corner by Keylor Navas.