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FIFA could merge U17, U20 World Cups

FIFA
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 By PA Sport

Southgate says Loftus-Cheek showed all 'he can do' in England debut

Gareth Southgate has said Ruben Loftus-Cheek showed all we "know he can do" in his debut for England in a goalless friendly against Germany.

The England manager went on to say the Chelsea player, on loan to Crystal Palace, can achieve "anything'' after the game.

"He did everything that I know he can do,'' Southgate said. "I think it took him 10 minutes to realise, 'I'm OK 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 tonight 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.''

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On his side's overall performance, Southgate added: "We created a couple of really good chances and I felt our use of the ball was excellent throughout the game.

"Room for improvement, but I felt a really healthy performance.''

The first friendly in the build-up to the World Cup in Russia could have been thrown off kilter by the withdrawal of seven players, yet a youthful Three Lions side took their chances to impress against the reigning world champions.

And Loftus-Cheek was pivotal to the endeavour, creativity and steel displayed by England's inexperienced side at Wembley.

"It could have been better. If we'd won it would have been better, but I'm really happy,'' Loftus-Cheek told ITV. "It was good for us young players and I certainly learned a lot so it's been 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.''

Midfield partner and captain on the night Eric Dier felt a youthful England side had offered a promising glimpse of the future.

"I think we did very well against a very well-oiled machine in Germany,'' he said. "We also had our periods where we controlled the game.

"We need to continue to build -- not just against Brazil [on Tuesday] but for the future.''

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