Ruben Loftus-Cheek made a good impression during his 10 minutes off the bench against Tunisia. Photograph- Eddie Keogh for FA:Rex:Shutterstock

Ruben Loftus-Cheek believes England have the potential to become one of the best teams in world football under Gareth Southgate.

England finished fourth at the World Cup in Russia but have largely struggled to beat the world’s strongest teams in recent years – poor form that continued with a 2-1 loss to Spain on Saturday.

Southgate insists it will take time for England to develop into a possession-based side but Loftus-Cheek believes the team are well on the way to becoming one that is capable of competing for major honours.

“I think we definitely have that potential,” he said. “We have to have that belief to try and change things around.

“We are in this transition phase at the moment where we want to become one of the best teams in the world – up there with Spain, France and Germany.

“We want to compete with them and dominate football.

“We are in this transition phase where we want to have it mentally in our heads that we are one of the best teams in the world.

“It is that belief to have the courage to play in tight areas and try and play football rather than just going long. It takes time but we are working towards it.”

Loftus-Cheek was an unused substitute during the defeat to Spain and the Chelsea midfielder was particularly impressed with the work of Sergio Busquets in the UEFA Nations League opener.

“His frame doesn’t look like a frame [of a footballer], he is tall and gangly, but he’s so sharp in his mind,” said Loftus-Cheek.

“He knows what he wants to do next, his technique – he looks like he has so much time on the ball.

“He takes two touch or one touch and he makes it look so easy. If a fast and strong player had that as well, you could dominate.”

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