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First Team

Hodgson: Loftus-Cheek Can Be Contender For World Cup Place

17 November 2017

Ruben Loftus-Cheek made the perfect introduction onto the international scene at senior level with his performance against Germany at the national stadium last Friday evening.

He left Wembley on that night with the Man Of The Match trophy and it was no surprise to Roy Hodgson that the Lewisham born youngster took his opportunity after getting the call up for the two matches at Wembley this past international week.

“He's a quality player. I think it was good he got the opportunity and very good that he took the opportunity. It's like everything else, we've spoken. When a young player comes into the team, makes his debut and does well, he sometimes gets praised to the skies and we're very good at praising people to knock them down very quickly afterwards. I hope that won't affect him. I don't think it will, he's a very composed and sensible young man.

“He knows he played well but he also knows there's a lot of work to do before he can really call himself a top class international player. And that's what he'll be working to do with us, I hope and we'll be trying to help him as best we can.”

With attention fast turning to Southgate’s selection for the World Cup finals in Russia, the 21 year old is one who Hodgson doesn’t see why if he continues his form in a Palace shirt he should not be thinking of boarding the plane for that tournament.

“At his age he will be considerably older than a lot of the players who came with me in 2014 and 2016 and they did well enough. You don't even consider people like Dele Ali today when you're talking about age and Ruben is a lot older than Dele so I don’t think age is any factor. The important thing for us is that he plays for us and helps us do well and I am convinced that if that happens he'll be a contender for Gareth Southgate."

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