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Loftus-Cheek impressed me - Southgate

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Ruben Loftus-Cheek

The Three Lions fielded an inexperienced eleven with three players making their maiden worldwide appearances, Tammy Abraham joining Loftus-Cheek and Pickford, and totalling just 101 caps with only five players on 10 or more.

Dier, 23, wore the captain's armband in the global friendly clash that finished 0-0 at Wembley, and although it was a goalless game, it definitely gave some encouragement ahead of the World Cup in Russian Federation next summer as Gareth Southgate was forced to field a second-string side.

The Crystal Palace player, on loan from Chelsea, was a mixture of the elegant and the efficient for England, passing and moving so intelligently.

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

"I think we have to be courageous and put some of these boys in because we think they're capable". He's got so many good attributes, top attributes, and that's why we put him into the team.

Liverpool striker Solanke opened the scoring in Kiev, continuing the fine worldwide form that saw him win the Golden Ball as England lifted the Under-20 World Cup in the summer.

"We used the ball really well, and we created a couple of really good chances", added Southgate.

"I don't think the wider public maybe would be as aware of him, you'd have to follow him very closely, but we believe in him and we believe in the others that we played".

Southgate knows the midfielder having played him during his time as England Under-21 manager, and is convinced the Lewisham-born man is capable of operating on the biggest stage.

He made some fine saves between the sticks, though he got social media talking following his pin-point distribution.

The 21-year-old midfielders improve midfield options that Southgate was bemoaning just months ago.

"What we've seen is Gareth will pick those players".

England's next game comes against Brazil on Tuesday, and Loftus-Cheek is bound to be involved again.

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