Lewis Cook ready to take England chance in Netherlands and Italy friendlies
By Danny Gallagher
Last Updated: 22/03/18 7:55am
Bournemouth midfielder Lewis Cook is ready to take his England opportunity if presented by Gareth Southgate.
The former Leeds United player was given a late call-up for England's last outing against Brazil, but did not get off the bench at Wembley.
Cook has been officially named in the squad this time around as England prepare for their World Cup warm-up matches against Netherlands and Italy.
Getting minutes on the field would not only see the 21-year-old make his senior international debut, but also become the first ever Bournemouth player to turn out for England.
"The first time I just got thrown in towards the end of the camp, but that was good for me to get to know the lads and how they work, but this time it definitely feels different," Cook told Sky Sports.
"Coming in from the start has been emotional for my family, but it's a great achievement and I'm just taking it all in.
"A lot of the fans have told me [no Bournemouth player has before represented England] but if it happens for me personally it will be a massive achievement for my family as well and the club - it will show all the hard work we've put in over the last year."
Throughout Southgate's short reign as England boss, a belief has been spread that younger players will be promoted to senior ranks on merit, with a focus on creating a clear pathway through the set-up.
"You can see there is definitely a pathway to the seniors and it's good for us and the other lads to see," Cook added.
One familiar face who greeted Cook at the England camp was Jack Wilshere, with the duo having become friends after the Arsenal midfielder spent time on loan with the Cherries last season.
"When he was at Bournemouth he really helped me, to see the way he plays and try to see similarities and take the strengths from his game and try to put them into my game.
"Coming here he's helped me to settle in and is a familiar face as well, so somebody I can easily talk to."
England will face Netherlands at the Amsterdam Arena on Friday, before hosting Italy at Wembley Stadium on Tuesday, March 27.
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