Southampton midfielder Adam Lallana believes he has become a better player after claiming his first international caps for England over the international break.
Although England lost 2-0 to Chile on Friday and then 1-0 to Germany on Tuesday, Lallana is convinced the experience he has gained has enhanced his self-belief and remains hopeful he can break into the squad for the World Cup in Brazil.
“I feel I have learnt a lot from these last two games, learnt about international football and what it’s all about,” Lallana told reporters. “It’s where I want to be playing week in week out and I’ll take a lot back to my club with me.
“This will inspire me to perform well for my club because I’m desperate to be involved in the next [England] squad and desperate to get to Brazil.”
Lallana said playing Germany at Wembley “made the hairs on the back of [his] neck stand up” and that he enjoyed the game despite the result.
“This is what I have dreamed about all my life,” he said. “To walk out in front of a packed Wembley, it was a very proud moment for my family. But I don’t want that to be it, I want there to be more.
“The quality in these last two games is not something I’ve experienced before, but I have relished it. This has made me realise that international football is the pinnacle, it is the where the best football in the world is played.
“It has been a pleasure training and working with these top, top players every day and I want to take a lot back with me and try to impose it on Southampton. Now it is all about what I do for Saints. I’m really looking forward in getting in amongst it at the Emirates Stadium this weekend.”
Lallana is hoping the confidence he has gained from his international breakthrough will shine through when he takes on Arsenal this weekend, in a fixture that offers Southampton a chance to draw level with their table-topping opponents.
“It’s a massive game, top versus third,” he said. “Why can’t we go there and get a result? We have done it at Old Trafford and Anfield this season already and I’m really looking forward to it.”