Many in the English game have been tipping the 20-year-old to shine on the worldwide stage since he was in his early teens, but a combination of nagging injuries and just 32 appearances for Chelsea over three seasons has seen him overtaken by the likes of Dele Alli and, more recently, Harry Winks.
"I had a vision and it became quite strong that I wanted to go from Chelsea", said Loftus-Cheek. I had to be really patient and have the mentality to still train right and do all the right things.
Gareth Southgate has said his successor as England manager may end up benefiting most from the current setup's commitment to youth progression, with a trio of players from the England under-21s called up for Tuesday's friendly against Brazil.
"He has great technical quality, dribbling ability, power, I think he's a really exciting player". But Loftus-Cheek was deservedly named man of the match. So for me to get to that next level I needed to play regular football.
"I think we need the stability of the three behind that at the moment, but also all of those guys at the back use the ball well".
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Despite the new faces in contention for England starting spots, the average age for the expected starting side is 25-years-old, but Higginbotham believes that will only get lower as younger players - including those from the U21s - are handed more regular senior global game time.
"Nights like this, they just make me want to improve more and get to the next level more, because the feeling you get out on that pitch, in front of 80,000 people, I can't explain it", he continued.
Solanke made the switch from Chelsea to Liverpool after the World Cup triumph but has found first-team opportunities hard to come by.
"There are no guarantees but I feel I have a better chance of playing". I want to develop skills and get better as a player.
Liam is ESPN FC's Chelsea correspondent.