England can become world class – Loftus-Cheek

The England midfielder looks for opportunities to play regular first team football.
The England midfielder looks for opportunities to play regular first team football.

Ruben Loftus-Cheek believes that if England can fulfil their potential they can challenge for top honours.

During the summer, they finished fourth in the World Cup, falling to Croatia in the semi-finals and then Belgium in the playoff for bronze.

They started their Nations League campaign with a 2-1 loss against Spain at Wembley on Saturday and on Tuesday tackle Switzerland. 

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Loftus-Cheek aims to replace the injured Dele Alli in Gareth Southgate's starting XI for the midweek friendly and has been impressed with the squad.

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“I think we definitely have that potential,” he said when asked if this group is good enough to challenge for honours. “We have to have that belief to try and change things around.

“We are in this transition phase at the moment where we want to become one of the best teams in the world - up there with Spain, France and Germany.

“We want to compete with them and dominate football.

“We are in this transition phase where we want to have it mentally in our heads that we are one of the best teams in the world.

“It is that belief to have the courage to play in tight areas and try and play football rather than just going long. It takes time but we are working towards it.”

Being close at hand to some of the world’s top players has given the 22-year-old midfielder the opportunity to study their games, and it was Sergio Busquets who caught his eye for Spain at the weekend.

“His frame doesn't look like a frame of a footballer; he is tall and gangly, but he's so sharp in his mind,” he said.

“He knows what he wants to do next, his technique - he looks like he has so much time on the ball.

“He takes two touches or one touch and he makes it look so easy. If a fast and strong player had that as well, you could dominate.”

Loftus-Cheek is hoping to win his ninth cap at Wembley on Tuesday, though he faces an uncertain time at club level, with opportunities liable to be limited at Chelsea this season under Maurizio Sarri.

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