CHRIS Mepham says the challenge of facing some of the world's elite so early into his senior career is something "every player should be wanting".

The Cherries defender, 21, is part of the Wales squad who travel to face 2018 World Cup finalists Croatia on Saturday (2pm) in a Euro 2020 qualifier.

The former Brentford centre-back heads to Osijek having already faced the likes of Eden Hazard, Mo Salah, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Sergio Aguero in the Premier League since moving to Dorset in January.

And the youngster, who only made his Championship debut in 2017, is enjoying life as a top-tier player.

Mepham told the Daily Echo: “Every player should be wanting to aspire to get to the top level and mark those sorts of players every week and it’s no different for me.

“They’re the players that I want to come up against every week and hopefully I can test myself.

“I’m only young so I’m going to have a lot of learning experiences.

“It’s good to get game time as soon as I have done, it’s just important that I keep working hard on the training pitch and don’t get complacent.”

Hammersmith-born Mepham made his Wales debut under Ryan Giggs in March 2018 and has gone on to earn four more caps for the first team.

That included March's opening Euro 2020 qualifier where Mepham played the full 90 minutes of the 1-0 win against Slovakia in Cardiff.

And with a clash against Hungary to come on Tuesday after the trip to Croatia, Mepham is pleased to be part of the international set-up again.

He said: "Definitely in every camp you want to be involved.

"Hopefully I've done enough to secure a place in the starting line-up."