Although Gareth Southgate’s side made a run to the semi-finals of the World Cup, they did so by beating relatively modest sides, like Tunisia, Panama and Sweden, while Colombia were only navigated via a penalty shootout.
Against the game’s traditional big guns, however, critics still feel they have a point to prove – and the Tottenham defender is eager to help them do it.
“You need to beat the best and Spain are one of the best in the world,” he said. “In the World Cup, you can only play who you are drawn against. Obviously, Spain will be a big test and we want to play the likes of them to show that we are here and we are ready.
“We want to beat these teams, we want to beat the best and Saturday will be no different. So it's an exciting one and we are all really looking forward to it, but we need to beat these sorts of teams if we want to be up there. Come Saturday, we'll be ready and give everything to do that.”
"We know the quality we have got in our dressing room and on our day we can beat anyone.”
“The progress and the journey that we went on was fantastic but obviously we were disappointed to get beaten in the semi-final, given the way we started. But we overcame so many obstacles in that tournament and we have got to be proud of ourselves. The nation and the players are back,” he said.
“We've set the bar high at the World Cup with how well we did as a team and obviously we go into every tournament wanting to win it.
“Every opportunity we get, we always try to do the best we can for our fans and ourselves and the tournament in two years will be no different. If we get there, which we will do, we will go there wanting to win it.”
After facing Spain on Saturday, England host Switzerland in a friendly on Tuesday