Leeds United: Former Whites midfielder’s pride at England selection

England's Lewis Cook during an England training session.
England's Lewis Cook during an England training session.
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Former Leeds United midfielder Lewis Cook’s career is already linked with Bobby Moore and he now hopes to make his England debut in a fixture forever associated with the great defender.

Former Leeds United midfielder Lewis Cook’s career is already linked with Bobby Moore and he now hopes to make his England debut in a fixture forever associated with the great defender.

England manager Gareth Southgate.

England manager Gareth Southgate.

In June, the Bournemouth midfielder became England’s first World Cup-winning captain since Moore in 1966 – albeit in the Under-20 edition of the tournament.

That achievement played a big part in manager Gareth Southgate’s decision to promote Cook to the seniors for the friendly against Brazil alongside fellow rookies Angus Gunn and Dominic Solanke.

T0day’s match is taking place in association with the Bobby Moore Fund, with collections taking place for the cancer charity, and Cook is eager for a taste of the action.

“It is obviously a great achievement for myself, to be named in the same sentence as someone like him,” said the 20-year-old.

Lewis Cook

Lewis Cook

“It is a hard one. It took a while for it to sink in. I got back from the World Cup and when I got to the training ground everyone congratulated me and that is when it sunk in.

“Coming here is a great achievement too, just being around the lads is really great for me. Even if I’m just on the bench I’ll just take it all in. I am really excited to be here.”

York-born Cook, played 80 games for United and represented England at Under-16 to 21 level before being sold to Bournemouth for £5million in July 2016.

“It has been a whirlwind few days,” he said, having been called-up 24 hours after skippering the Under-21s to a 2-0 win in Ukraine.

“I was blown away and was really excited just to meet all the lads and take it all in.”

The notion of the Football Association’s ‘England DNA’ blueprint has drawn its fair share of sceptics but Cook believes in the common thread that is starting to run through all the teams who wear the Three Lions.

“England are trying to get an identity of how we want to play,” he said. “I think it’s just trying to be the best we can be on the ball and trying to create something that we all can do throughout the age groups.

“We can see that happening with how well we have been doing. I feel like I must have ticked some boxes and I’m grateful for the opportunity.”

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