Friday, 17 November, 2017

Ruben Loftus-Cheek had 'vision' to leave Chelsea and accelerate career

Antonio Conte Antonio Conte will undoubtedly be keeping an eye on Ruben Loftus-Cheekā€™s electric form at Crystal Palace
Clarence Duncan | 12 November, 2017, 01:35

Ruben Loftus-Cheek admitted that a lack of first-team opportunities at Chelsea has slowed his development after producing a man-of-the-match performance on his senior England debut against Germany.

Many in the English game have been tipping the 20-year-old to shine on the worldwide stage since he was in his early teens, but a combination of nagging injuries and just 32 appearances for Chelsea over three seasons has seen him overtaken by the likes of Dele Alli and, more recently, Harry Winks.

Chelsea's social media post about Ruben Loftus-Cheek hasn't gone down well with their own fans.

"I'm really not surprised because of what I saw before those boys came in and what I've seen in training".

"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.

The stats make for good reading as Loftus-Cheek had a 96 percent pass completion rate, completing 50 successful passes out of 52.

I see things in him that lead me to believe he can play at this level.

If we won it would have been better but I'm really happy. For me, I would never want to rewind the time, because I learned a lot about myself mentally and I feel like I got mentally stronger.

"We'll see whether Phil [Jones] stays with us, definitely Angus [Gunn] following the injury to Jack [Butland]", Southgate confirmed when asked which players could be promoted for Tuesday's clash with Brazil. Gareth said to do my best like I normally do.

Loftus-Cheek has made just 20 starts on the domestic scene since being handed his professional debut in December 2014.

On the on-loan Crystal Palace midfielder, Southgate told his post-match press conference: "He's a player I've watched do that from under-16 level and despite his size and his appearance and the way he plays, he's not hugely confident at times".

Liam is ESPN FC's Chelsea correspondent.

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