A largely underwhelming England display was briefly illuminated by a stunning piece of skill from debutant Ruben Loftus-Cheek on Friday evening.
Gareth Southgate’s experimental line-up understandably struggled to dominate against a Germany side which could boast the experience of Mesut Ozil and Mats Hummels, as well as established stars Julian Draxler and Manchester City’s Leroy Sane.
Without the likes of Adam Lallana, Dele Alli and Harry Winks to call upon, Loftus-Cheek earned an unexpected promotion following his exploits on loan at Crystal Palace from Chelsea.
The 21-year-old has long been tipped for stardom but was forced to switch from Stamford Bridge to Selhurst Park in the summer in search of regular first team football, and the change has done him no harm at all on last night’s evidence.
The elegant midfielder gave a polished performance up against such esteemed company, the highlight coming in the first half when he impudently flicked the ball through Sane’s legs and followed up with the same trick just seconds later to humiliate Marcel Halstenberg.
Loftus-Cheek’s display has certainly given both his international bosses food for thought, with Southgate particularly impressed with the youngster’s showing.
‘He did everything I know he can do,’ Southgate told ITV. ‘He has the physical attributes and can handle the ball. He will gain huge confidence from his display.
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‘It took him 10 minutes to realise he’s OK here. He is capable of anything.
‘I wanted to pick him for the games last month [against Slovenia and Lithuania]. I see things in him that lead me to believe he can play at this level.
‘He’s an exciting player and he’s one who might have gone under the radar a bit for the wider public until now.’