Gareth Southgate claims England cannot boast about possessing any 'big players' until they prove themselves at major tournaments, according to Sky Sports.
With his side qualifying for the 2018
Southgate stated: "Well, are they big players until they win?
"When we are in semi-finals, finals, winning trophies, then I think we're big players. Until that point, for me, we have it all to prove. I am the same as coach, so I don't disassociate myself from that. But we can't consider ourselves big players."
After an unprecedented amount of spending this summer, with the likes of Ousmane Dembele and Neymar totalling £335.5m alone, Southgate also questions how we measure what a 'big player' truly is.
He states: "We're talking about big players because of transfer fees or because they are playing in the Champions League.
"Big players are Pique, Ramos, Busquets, Kroos, Khedira, Neuer - I could go on. That's what big players are."
The likes of Harry Kane, Dele Alli and Marcus Rashford (all playing Champions League football this season) have been promoted to the England National side in recent seasons due to their impressive domestic performances for Tottenham and Manchester United respectively.
13 - Harry Kane now has 13 goals for club & country in September 2017; his best ever goal tally in a single month of his career. Unstoppable pic.twitter.com/Bt0mrkDJjP— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) September 30, 2017
With friendlies against the likes of Brazil and Germany in the near future, Southgate and England have the chance to test themselves against the best before Russia rolls around.
Southgate however, is under