Loftus-Cheek can be as good as Alli – Wilkins

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Chelsea midfielder Ruben Loftus-Cheek has the potential to match Tottenham star Dele Alli, according to former Blues assistant manager Ray Wilkins.

Loftus-Cheek will earn his first England start against world champions Germany on Friday in the absence of Alli, who has withdrawn from the squad.

The pair are the same age – 21 – but Alli has flourished under Mauricio Pochettino into a key figure for club and country.

Loftus-Cheek, by contrast, has failed to nail down a place at Chelsea and is currently on loan at Crystal Palace after finding himself frozen out by the summer arrivals of Tiemoue Bakayoko and Danny Drinkwater.

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However, Wilkins – a former Chelsea midfielder himself – said Loftus-Cheek could one day be Alli’s equal.

“He has great technique,” Wilkins told TalkSport.

“He’s got two feet, he’s got energy and pace, he can score a goal and he can create goals.

“Dele has played around 200 games now and he’s only 21 – I honestly do believe Loftus-Cheek has the ability to be equally as good as him, no question about it.”

Spurs’ Eric Dier will captain England in the friendly international at Wembley, with team-mates Kieran Trippier and Danny Rose also likely to be included.

Tammy Abraham, the Chelsea forward on loan at Swansea, has also been tipped to start.

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