​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 World Cup in Russia following a lackluster 1-0 victory against Slovenia on Thursday, Southgate admits that he has a young, hungry side (himself included) desperate to prove their worth on the big stage.


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.

England v Slovenia - FIFA 2018 World Cup Qualifier

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. 

Kane especially has become the focal point now for both club and country, captaining England in their most recent fixture at Wembley on Thursday. 

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 no illusion of the task ahead of him, claiming: "We have it to prove. No problem, these guys are hungry to prove it."