Nobody expected England to reach the semi-finals of the World Cup this summer, but thanks to their spine – goalkeeper, centre-back, and striker – they pulled off an unexpected run that thrilled their fans.
Here’s a look at how all three have fared since the summer.
Kane supposedly hasn’t been in form since towards the end of last season. So an out-of-form Tottenham and England striker won the Golden Boot at the World Cup, and is again among the top scorers in the Premier League this season.
The truth is, there was a brief spell where Kane looked off-colour, but he was still contributing to the team in whatever way he could, as well as popping up with the odd goal.
Maguire rushed back from his post-World Cup break and though he looked understandably rusty in his first game for Leicester City this season, since then he’s been the composed, uncompromising defender everyone saw in Russia.
The Foxes have needed him to be on top form, because next to him, Wes Morgan is struggling, making the entire backline jittery. Maguire has needed to bail his partner out on more than one occasion.
Clean Sheets: 1
After a season and a World Cup spent looking like one of the best young goalkeepers in Europe, Pickford has largely continued to display that form for his club.
The defence in front of him at Everton has been shaky, keeping him busy, and though at times he himself can look a little flustered (against West Ham in particular), he’s largely been a solid presence in between the goalposts.