Ross Barkley admitted he would feel guilty if he took a goal away from England new boy Callum Hudson-Odoi.
Barkley scored twice as the Three Lions thrashed Montenegro 5-1 in Podgorica, in a game which was overshadowed by racist chanting from the home supporters.
England had fallen behind before Michael Keane levelled with a header and Barkley then turned home from close range as he diverted a shot from Chelsea team-mate Hudson-Odoi past Danijel Petkovic.
But the former Everton midfielder said he would not have wanted to steal Hudson-Odoi’s spotlight on what was the 18-year-old’s first start for his country.
“I haven’t seen the goal back and I’m not sure if it was going in,” he told beIN Sports.
“If it was going in I will be disappointed because I know how gutted he will be, he thrives off scoring and assisting.
“But he is really happy with the performance and I’m happy he got a start because the sky is the limit for him.
— Callum Hudson-Odoi (@Calteck10) March 25, 2019
“He is a great lad and really mature for his age and he is going to keep developing, we have a real player there.”
Barkley doubled his international goal tally with his brace and felt that the collective performance of the team, in troubling conditions, was impressive.
“It was positive from a personal point of view,” he added.
— Ross Barkley (@RBarkley8) March 25, 2019
“To come away from home, over the years you’ve seen the results that Montenegro have had and they are a solid team.
“They made it difficult in the first 10-15 minutes but we responded really well and put in a positive performance.”
West Ham midfielder Declan Rice joined Hudson-Odoi in making his first England start as manager Gareth Southgate continues to offer chances to young players.
Ross Barkley tonight 👏👏👏
— UEFA EURO 2020 (@UEFAEURO) March 25, 2019
Barkley believes the influx of such precocious talents means that it is an exciting time to be a fan of the Three Lions.
“It is a credit to the boss,” the 25-year-old said when asked about the current make up of the squad.
“He shows that he has got no fear in blooding a young player, Callum, Jadon (Sancho) and Declan and there are plenty of others who can make the squad over the next season, leading up to the next Euros.
“There are a lot of positives going into the next Euros and the Nations League, it is a really positive time for the English people.”