Ruben Loftus-Cheek gives England 'something different' at World Cup, says Dennis Wise
By Rory O'Callaghan
Last Updated: 16/05/18 3:57pm
Dennis Wise insists Ruben Loftus-Cheek fully deserves to be included in England's World Cup squad, and believes the Chelsea midfielder gives Gareth Southgate "something different".
Loftus-Cheek was named in Southgate's 23-man squad for the upcoming tournament in Russia after a successful loan spell at Crystal Palace, helping them to avoid relegation from the Premier League with a strong finish to the season.
The 22-year-old was named man-of-the-match when England drew 0-0 with world champions Germany in November, and Wise is pleased to see the midfielder included in the World Cup squad after a campaign interrupted by injury.
"He was always going to be in his thoughts. Gareth was just waiting to see if he was going to get back [from injury], and he did," said Wise, who won 21 caps for England.
"He has got ability. In the game against Germany, I thought he was outstanding.
"He is somebody who can give you something different when you need it. He is a physical presence, he's got great ability and he can open doors when he runs at people.
"I like the boy, I always have. I'm pleased that he's in there."
Southgate has included a number of youngsters in his squad for Russia, with Liverpool full-back Trent Alexander-Arnold and Manchester United pair Marcus Rashford and Jesse Lingard making the cut.
Wise believes the Three Lions boss is planning for the future, with Bournemouth midfielder Lewis Cook also named on standby, and believes the tournament could provide vital experience for the squad moving forward.
When asked about Alexander-Arnold's inclusion, Wise said: "The only issue I have with this is the fact that he's been playing in a four. By the looks of it, Gareth is going to go with a three, with wing-backs, and I'm not sure he's played in that position.
"That would be my only thought, there could be a slight issue. But as a young kid going into this, I think it is great experience.
"If you're good enough, and you're young - it doesn't matter. He has shown this year that he's capable of playing at a high level but we are talking about the World Cup here.
"It is interesting that Gareth has stuck one or two youngsters in there. Lewis Cook is on the brink, Trent has gone in there.
"You can see he's looking at the youth side of things and maybe giving them the experience to gain from this competition. It will be good for the future."