Southgate singles out pair for praise after England draw

Ray Wilkins Assistant manager of Aston Villa shares a joke with Jose Mourinho manager of Chelsea during the Barclays Premier League match between Chelsea and Aston Villa at Stamford Bridge

Gareth Southgate's squad has been hit by a series of injuries, with Jack Butland, Dele Alli, Raheem Sterling and Harry Kane among the absent stars for the friendly.

Loftus-Cheek wasn't afraid to try something different on his debut and provided one or two moments of impish flair during the first half.

Loftus-Cheek will play in behind a front pairing of Jamie Vardy and Abraham, who is set to win his first cap after impressing while on loan at Swansea this season.

"I see things in him that lead me to believe he can play at this level and I think he showed that tonight".

'He's a player I've watched do that from Under-16 level, and despite his size and his appearance and the way he plays, he's not a hugely confident at times, ' said Southgate. 'The wider public might not be as aware of him - you'd have to follow him closely - but we believe in him and the others we played. He's got so many good attributes, top attributes, and that's why he's in the team. With the age in the squad, it was good for us young players. It seemed a bit messy with loads of pull outs, but it's been really tight.

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The 21-year-old England global is also a regular in the England starting lineup when he is fit.

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. I had Gareth in charge for almost three years at the Under-21s and the boys have been great.

The heroic clearance was Jones' last action, as injury saw the talented but brittle Manchester United centre-back withdrawn.

Both sides played well despite depleted lineups and should consider this a worthy and encouraging tuneup as they begin looking toward next summer's FIFA World Cup in Russian Federation.

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