Loftus-Cheek's learning experience
news Sat 11 Nov 2017
Ruben Loftus-Cheek spoke of his happiness after producing a man-of-the-match display on his England debut against Germany last night.
The 21-year-old, deployed in an advanced midfield role, was outstanding for Gareth Southgate’s side in the goalless draw at Wembley and completed the full game.
Loftus-Cheek was joined in the starting line-up by Chelsea team-mate Tammy Abraham , who was also making his debut, and the midfielder explained why it was such a beneficial experience to make his bow for the senior England side.
‘It could have been better, if we'd won it would have been better, but I'm really happy,' Loftus-Cheek said, speaking after the game.
‘It was good for us young players and I certainly learned a lot, so it was a good night.
‘To go to the World Cup, it is still a long season, and I'll look to improve until the end of the season.’
Southgate, who worked with Loftus-Cheek when he was in charge of the Under-21s, believes it was a performance which will prove hugely beneficial to the youngster in the long term.
‘He did everything that I know he can do,’ said the England manager. ‘I think it took him 10 minutes to realise “I'm okay here, I can play.”
‘I think he needs that confidence because he's capable of anything. He's been a top performer in our junior teams for a long time, as have some of the others, and they showed that they can step up.
‘He's got the physical attributes and he can handle the ball. I think he'll gain huge confidence from it. He's got so many good attributes, top attributes, and that's why we put him into the team.
‘I don't think the wider public may be as aware of him - you would have to follow very closely - but we believe in him and believe in the others we played.’
Ethan Ampadu was another international debutant last night, with the 17-year-old playing the last half-hour for Wales as they were beaten 2-0 by France.
Ampadu, who made his Chelsea debut earlier this season, looked confident and assured in a midfield role, and Wales manager Chris Coleman believes he possesses the qualities to play either in midfield or central defence.
‘Ethan's capable of playing both,’ said Coleman. ‘His frame, athleticism and understanding of the game, he's a great communicator for someone so young.
‘You never know what's going to happen in the future, but Ethan is definitely capable of playing both positions.
‘The modern day centre-back starts play and has to be confident in possession and Ethan can do that.’