Tuesday 17 July 2018

Wembley stalemate for England as Loftus-Cheek catches eye on debut

England midfielder Ruben Loftus-Cheek runs with the ball during the friendly international football match between England and Germany. Photo: Getty
England midfielder Ruben Loftus-Cheek runs with the ball during the friendly international football match between England and Germany. Photo: Getty

James Ducker

England enjoyed a glimpse of future promise at Wembley as a fresh-faced side battled world champions Germany to a 0-0 draw.

With a host of familiar faces either injured or overlooked, Gareth Southgate dished out five debuts in an experimental team.

Germany had the better chances, Leroy Sane being denied by the crossbar and Phil Jones' brave header, but eye-catching bows from goalkeeper Jordan Pickford and midfielder Ruben Loftus-Cheek meant the Three Lions left with plenty of credit.

Elsewhere, France underlined their status as World Cup contenders next summer with an impressive 2-0 win over Wales in Paris. Antoine Griezmann and Olivier Giroud scored as Wales endured a tough night in their first game since their own World Cup hopes were ended by the Republic of Ireland last month.

Chris Coleman was a helpless spectator as his team was outclassed in what could prove to be one of his final games in charge of Wales.

Talks are set to resume between Coleman and the Football Association of Wales after Tuesday's friendly with Panama in Cardiff.

Although his side were well beaten at the Stade de France, with the hosts striking the woodwork three times, there was real encouragement for the future with the promising debuts of Ethan Ampadu and David Brooks and another impressive cameo from Ben Woodburn.

Meanwhile, Manchester United will invoke options to extend the contracts of Juan Mata, Ander Herrera, Ashley Young and Daley Blind until the end of next season.

The quartet are out of contract next summer but United will move to secure the players' immediate futures and bolster their transfer values by triggering clauses that extend their deals by a further 12 months.

United have already invoked the 12-month option on Luke Shaw's contract, which will strengthen the club's hopes of recouping a bigger portion of the £28 million (€32m) they paid Southampton for him in 2014.

Fenerbahce are interested in taking Shaw on loan in January with a view to a permanent move for the full-back, who currently is paid £130,000 per week.

Telegraph.co.uk

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