Saturday, 18 November, 2017

Loftus-Cheek impressed me - Southgate

England vs Germany Team News: Debuts For Abraham, Loftus-Cheek and Pickford Southgate singles out pair for praise after England draw
Spencer Simpson | 12 November, 2017, 01:39

Loftus-Cheek was one of five players to be handed his debut at Wembley Stadium on Friday night, but the Crystal Palace loanee was given the man-of-the-match accolade after a promising performance against the world champions.

At 21, he is the same age as Alli but has barely made 40 caps in his professional career, while the Spurs midfielder has played close to 200 games in all competitions and is an England regular. Nights like Friday, they just make me want to improve more and get to the next level more.

"I think you have got to spin it on the head and say these players have got the opportunity to put themselves right at the forefront of going to the World Cup".

The 21-year-old was named "Man of the Match", with his parent club taking to Twitter to congratulate him on his worldwide outing.

Loftus-Cheek said: "In these last two or three years I have had to be really patient".

But despite seeing his on-pitch development stall while training with Chelsea's first team at Cobham, Loftus-Cheek insisted he feels no bitterness towards his parent club and actually thinks he has benefited from the experience.

"At times it was hard for them to press us because of the composure we showed and the system we played, so I think it was a brilliant experience for our players".

Asked after the England match if a lack of games at Chelsea has held him back, Loftus-Cheek replied: "Yeah, definitely".

Despite the new faces in contention for England starting spots, the average age for the expected starting side is 25-years-old, but Higginbotham believes that will only get lower as younger players - including those from the U21s - are handed more regular senior worldwide game time. "It's a great opportunity for some of these players". Gareth said to do my best like I normally do. "It's fantastic and I just want that feeling more and develop to be the best player I can be". If we do that, the technical type of player that is coming through our system now and the athletic profile we have got could be really exciting.

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