Sports

New faces give England cause for optimism in draw with Germany

New faces give England cause for optimism in draw with Germany

Ruben Loftus-Cheek will make his worldwide debut in midfield, while Everton goalkeeper Jordan Pickford is also in line to win his first cap for England against the world champions.

Many in the English game have been tipping the 20-year-old to shine on the global stage since he was in his early teens, but a combination of nagging injuries and just 32 appearances for Chelsea over three seasons has seen him overtaken by the likes of Dele Alli and, more recently, Harry Winks.

Ray Wilkins believes Chelsea midfielder Ruben Loftus-Cheek can be as good as Tottenham star Dele Alli, if given time to prove his talents at the top level.

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

It has to be said that a stalemate is a good result for Three Lions, especially given the fact that they had three debutants in the starting XI and two more would feature off the bench.

The Chelsea midfielder, on-loan at Crystal Palace, impressed at the base of the Three Lions midfield against the world champions on his worldwide bow.

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I see things in him that lead me to believe he can play at this level. We've looked at what Germany have done over a period of time and want to establish a pathway for our young players. "I've settled in really well and they gave me a platform to go out and play".

Loftus-Cheek looked like a seasoned worldwide on the Wembley turf, pulling off a nutmeg and a Cruyff turn in the first half before being clattered as he played with a real swagger against Joachim Low's silverware-heavy team.

"It seems like if these guys keep progressing and playing as well as they are, then it seems to me they're going to have to leave those clubs".

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

Loftus-Cheek's impressive performance is particularly exciting for England supporters at a time when Southgate has made improving the technical quality of his midfield a priority, and the 20-year-old said a dream debut at Wembley has inspired him to kick on.

Liam is ESPN FC's Chelsea correspondent.