Cook captained the side and has played six times for Bournemouth this season, with four of those appearances coming in the Premier League.
"And that's because I learned a lot about myself mentally and I feel like I got mentally stronger".
"I had a vision and it became quite strong that I wanted to go from Chelsea", said Loftus-Cheek.
"Dele has played around 200 games now and he's only 21 - I honestly do believe Loftus-Cheek has the ability to be equally as good as him, no question about it".
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 worldwide game time. But Loftus-Cheek was deservedly named man of the match.
"He has great technical quality, dribbling ability, power, I think he's a really exciting player".
"Get into other clubs, play in their first-team, and you've got a much better opportunity of playing at the highest level".
"The World Cup is still a long season away and I still want to improve until the end of the season.I think there's a chance but I have to keep learning, keep getting better and hopefully I can be considered for the plane", the 21-year-old said after the 0-0 draw on Friday night.
You sense, talking to Loftus-Cheek, that he has a sensible head on his shoulders.
Loftus-Cheek has made just 20 starts on the domestic scene since being handed his professional debut in December 2014. I want to develop skills and get better as a player.
"He's got so many good attributes and that's why we put him into the team". He was really happy for me and just said go and enjoy it.