Watch: Didier Drogba impressed with England's young stars after reaching World Cup semi-final

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England reached the semi-finals in Russia

Former Ivory Coast striker Didier Drogba admits he was surprised by how far England went in the World Cup and was impressed with how their young stars delivered on the big stage.

England reached the semi-finals in Russia after a 2-1 extra-time loss to Croatia as they finished fourth in the World Cup.

With a young and inexperienced squad, few would have expected them to reach the last-four and Drogba admits he was impressed with how Gareth Southgate’s young team played in Russia.

Watch what the Chelsea legend said below:

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Jordan Pickford has proved why he is England's number one, says Gordon Banks

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Gordon Banks believes the England goalkeeper’s jersey is now Jordan Pickford‘s to lose after his performances in the World Cup.

There had been some debate prior to the tournament in Russia over who Gareth Southgate’s first choice would be but the manager opted for Everton’s Pickford over Stoke’s Jack Butland.

The 24-year-old justified his selection with some fine displays, most notably in the knockout stage wins over Colombia and Sweden.

Banks, England’s 1966 World Cup-winning keeper, told BBC Radio Five Live’s Sportsweek programme: “I thought he played really well. I was quite surprised, when you think he is quite young.

“If he is able to keep his position in that goal then obviously the better he will become and the more confident he will become. I like the way he played and am looking forward to seeing him again.

“I am sure the manager will pick him for the next few games. If he keeps playing as he has done he will stay with that job, definitely.”

Banks hopes England’s run to the semi-finals can provide a springboard to win a tournament in the future.

The 80-year-old said: “I hope they can keep together and keep feeling confident they can eventually win things.

“If they stay together and play together and get used to each other there is always a good chance.”

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There's more to come from Harry Kane, says Tottenham team-mate Toby Alderweireld

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Harry Kane missed an opportunity against Belgium

Toby Alderweireld got the better of Tottenham team-mate Harry Kane when the pair crossed paths in Saint Petersburg but believes the striker’s starring role at the World Cup is “just the beginning”.

Kane’s six goals leave him primed to bring the Golden Boot back to north London, with French pair Antoine Griezmann and Kylian Mbappe needing a hat-trick against Croatia in the final just to draw level.

But the England captain was shut out for the third game in a row as Belgium sealed a 2-0 win in the third-place play-off.

Spurs defender Alderweireld had nothing but good things to say for his club colleague though.

“I think Harry is one of the best strikers in the world, of course he is,” he told Press Association Sport.

“He’s an all-round player. He’s not just scoring goals, he’s helping the team play better. The only thing he didn’t do is score against Belgium so that’s a positive for us!

“But he is a wonderful player and still very young as well, people forget that.

“He has the desire to be one of the best, maybe the best, and this is just the beginning I think.”

Alderweireld also claimed bragging rights over Spurs midfielder Eric Dier, sliding to clear his goalbound chip off the line with the match delicately poised at 1-0.

It was England’s best move of the night, with Dier desperately close to providing a memorable finish.

“I spoke to him after, I said ‘I’m sorry. I’m sorry’,” said Alderweireld.

“It was very good play from him, he did everything perfectly but unfortunately for him I was in the right place.”

Tottenham had a total of nine players involved in the last four of the tournament – testament to the calibre of the side compiled by Mauricio Pochettino.

They are still yet to cap their development with silverware but Alderweireld said: “It is something for the club and the fans to be proud of, you can see that for the past few seasons.

“Of course everybody will say you didn’t win anything yet but our level every season is top four and we are extremely consistent. You can see at this World Cup. The players are at a good level and being decisive players for their countries.

“Spurs are going the right way.”

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