Ruben Loftus-Cheek "really happy" with England debut

Crystal Palace star Ruben Loftus Cheek was loaned by Chelsea

Crystal Palace star Ruben Loftus Cheek was loaned by Chelsea

Not an elevated position he dared dream about after admitting his career had been held back by his lack of game-time at Stamford Bridge. But Loftus-Cheek was deservedly named man of the match.

Gareth Southgate has revealed his pleasure at the "encouraging" performance of his young England side during Friday's draw with Germany. I had Gareth in charge for almost three years at the Under-21s and the boys have been great. It was tough mentally at Chelsea, obviously not getting the game-time.

"I'm really not surprised because of what I saw before those boys came in and what I've seen in training".

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 global game time. Now I have the opportunity to play in the Premier League every week. That's what I wanted and I will try to build on that. "They might not be 100% ready now, but who do we want to invest our time in?" I don't think the wider public will be as aware of him, you would have to have followed him very closely, but we believe in him and the others we played.

"It took him 10 minutes to realise he's OK here", the England boss told the BBC.

Does he deserve a spot in the Chelsea first-team? Gareth said to do my best like I normally do.

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"So being at Palace gives me the platform to learn and develop. It was a really good night".

But it was not just Loftus-Cheek who caught the eye. He admits, too, that playing football is his motivation in life and not the obscene amount of money chucked at someone so young. I'll find out whose played well tonight, who warrants the decision.

"The money and that stuff, that's secondary".

"We'll see whether Phil [Jones] stays with us, definitely Angus [Gunn] following the injury to Jack [Butland]", Southgate confirmed when asked which players could be promoted for Tuesday's clash with Brazil. "That's where my head's at".

He said: "Yeah, I spoke to Roy". Do what I have done to get the call-up.

"I just tried to soak it all in and I am really pleased with it". It would be a good experience for a couple of the under-21s to come with us anyway and have a couple of days with the senior team.

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