Rating England's new additions as Chelsea loanee Loftus-Cheek impresses

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Gareth Southgate has not been afraid to put his faith in youth since taking charge of England and guiding the Three Lions to the 2018 World Cup.

The England manager continued that policy for the two goalless draws against Germany and Brazil as he works on his master plan for Russia next summer.

Here’s a look at the young players given their chance in the senior England side since the start of the season.

HARRY WINKS

The Tottenham midfielder had been waiting for his chance back at his club but grabbed his opportunity with both hands to earn his first England call-up for the World Cup qualifiers against Slovenia and Lithuania.

He started the latter and was a bright spark in a forgettable 1-0 win for the Three Lions with the 21-year-old impressing in possession. Injury forced him to miss the recent friendlies after he starred for Spurs in their two Champions League games against holders Real Madrid.

Rating: 6/10

Harry Winks

Harry Winks

HARRY MAGUIRE

The Leicester defender could be installed as the elder statesman of recent debutants as he was handed his maiden cap at the age of 24.

Maguire started alongside fellow newcomer Winks in the win in Vilnius, retaining his place in Southgate’s back three for the recent friendly double-header where he played his part in keeping the World champions and the mighty Brazil at bay.

Rating: 7/10

Harry Maguire

Harry Maguire

JORDAN PICKFORD

Pickford made his debut in Friday’s goalless stalemate with Germany, making a couple of impressive saves to keep Timo Werner out.

The Everton goalkeeper is another to roll off the England production line and was handed the gloves for his first cap despite his Everton side struggling in the Premier League and he proved his call-up was justified.

Rating: 8/10

Jordan Pickford

Jordan Pickford

RUBEN LOFTUS-CHEEK

The 21-year-old midfielder felt he had to move away from Chelsea on loan this season to play regular first-team football and earned his senior debut after starring for a Crystal Palace side who sit bottom of the Premier League.

After a nervy first 10 minutes on his debut against Germany, Loftus-Cheek showed his class and grew into the international fold before picking up the man of the match award. His international week was marred as he was forced off in the first-half of the Brazil game with a back injury.

Rating: 8/10

Ruben Loftus-Cheek

Ruben Loftus-Cheek

TAMMY ABRAHAM

Another Chelsea loanee who has earned his senior England call-up while away from Stamford Bridge, Abraham has scored five goals at Swansea so far this season.

With Harry Kane out injured, the 20-year-old was handed a starting berth by Southgate for the Germany game. He struggled to make a similar impact to Loftus-Cheek but showed some promise and also came off the bench four days later against Brazil.

Rating: 6/10

Tammy Abraham

Tammy Abraham

JOE GOMEZ

Similar to Winks at Tottenham, Gomez had to be patient to land a run of games in the Liverpool side despite being a regular fixture in the England youth teams.

The 20-year-old is now enjoying himself at Anfield and the defender came on for the injured Phil Jones against Germany before starting and earning the man-of-the-match accolade in the Brazil stalemate, playing his part in keeping Neymar, Gabriel Jesus and club-mate Philippe Coutinho quiet.

Rating: 8/10

Joe Gomez

Joe Gomez

DOMINIC SOLANKE

While Solanke has only played seven times in the Premier League, the Liverpool forward is highly thought of by Southgate and his staff and was called up for the Brazil friendly alongside Lewis Cook and Angus Gunn.

The former Chelsea youngster, 20, came off the bench in the latter stages and did enough to impress ex-England international Ian Wright, coming close to winning the game late on only to get the ball caught under his feet.

Rating: 5/10

Dominic Solanke

Dominic Solanke

Provided by Press Association Sport

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Southgate lauds England's defensive resilience

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England held Brazil to a goal-less draw after shutting out Germany. earlier

England manager Gareth Southgate revealed his pride in the defensive steel that consigned Germany and Brazil to successive Wembley shutouts.

Having kept the world champions to a 0-0 draw on Friday night, a youthful Three Lions side again proved their mettle, repeating the trick against the attacking brilliance of Neymar and company.

The football Association’s marketing team were probably not envisaging 180 minutes of goalless football when they unveiled the top two sides in the world as England’s final opponents of 2017, but Southgate was left invigorated by the experience.

As a former centre-half he appreciates the work that went into both results and comes away convinced that the foundations of his side are sturdy enough to cope with all comers at next year’s World Cup.

“The resilience collectively and individually was absolutely outstanding,” he said.

“They’re not going to face more difficult tests than they’ve had in the two matches we’ve just had. We had the best defensive record in Europe in qualifying and we’ve played the best two teams in the world and not conceded.

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“In terms of heart, resilience and spirit it was up there with anything I have been involved in.

“I was probably more proud than I was against Germany because we played, I think, the best team in the world, with their full team out, and came out with a really creditable result.”

Liverpool’s Joe Gomez followed in the recent footsteps of Harry Winks and Ruben Loftus-Cheek by claiming the man-of-the-match award on his full debut, just reward for a performance of calm authority.

He is now among a handful of players who have gone from rookie recruits to genuine contenders for Russia 2018 in the space of a transformative international break.

Southgate was impressed by Joe Gomez's man of the match performance.

Southgate was impressed by Joe Gomez’s man-of-the-match performance.

“I thought they were all excellent but Joe was named man of the match and rightly so,” Southgate said.

“I think his decision-making was outstanding. We know his athleticism is a real asset but to see his calmness in the face of such high-quality movement, dealing with through passes he had to read… superb.

“Joe has been one of the best young players in our system for a long time. It gives me plenty to think about.”

Brazil boss Tite offered a respectful nod to England’s tactical discipline.

He has seen his side routinely dominate since taking the reins from Dunga, qualifying from the tricky South American pool amid an avalanche of goals.

But this time he was unable to find a way through.

“They were like ice, really cold, they never lost their minds,” Tite said.

“We have scored many goals this year but not today because England played really well, blocking our offence. They were trying to close out the space and they had a lot of mental power.”

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Marc Wilmots quits as Ivory Coast coach following failure to qualify for World Cup 2018

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Marc Wilmots

Marc Wilmots has left his role as head coach of Ivory Coast following the African nation’s failure to qualify for the World Cup.

The Ivorians, boasting top players including Wilfried Zaha, Franck Kessie, Serge Aurier and Salomon Kalou, could only finish second to Morocco in their qualifying group for Russia 2018.

Belgian boss Wilmots, 48, only took the job six months ago but a statement from the Ivorian football Federation said both parties had “amicably agreed to end their collaboration” after discussions.

Former midfielder Wilmots was previously in charge of Belgium but after guiding the Red Devils to the Euro 2016 quarter-finals, he was dismissed and succeeded by Roberto Martinez.

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