Chelsea midfielder Eden Hazard has hinted that Blues teammate Ruben Loftus-Cheek should be included in manager Maurizio Sarri’s plans for the new season.
The England star was on duty with his country this summer in Russia during their run to the semifinals of The World Cup and has just returned to club duty with Chelsea following an extended break.
The 22-year-old spent last season on loan at Crystal Palace and impressed with his performances for the Eagles, dictating the pace of games and driving the team forward with his commanding physical presence and impressive passing range.
He made 24 appearances for Palace, which is two more than he has made during in his entire 4-year spell with The Blues, but he could now be well placed to break into new boss Sarri’s starting XI.
Eden Hazard has seen first hand the many attributes Loftus-Cheek possesses and according to The Evening Standard, the Belgian winger has been praising his club mate ahead of the new season.
“Ruben is a fantastic player. He is still young, of course, but I think if we can have him in the team this season it’s a plus for everyone,” said Hazard, as The ES reports.
“I know his quality. He is young, he is powerful. The future will be top for him.”
Glowing praise from such a well respected and revered figure in the Chelsea dressing room will surely come as a huge confidence boost for the young midfielder, as he hopes to be included in Chelsea’s final pre-season game against Lyon this evening.
Sarri saw his team lose 2-0 in the Community Shield to Manchester City on Sunday and would surely have been worried by the lack of creative influence and attacking threat his team displayed both in midfield and upfront.
Loftus-Cheek could well rival Cesc Fabregas for a regular place in the team as part of Sarri’s 3 man midfield, with Fabregas looking nothing like the player of old last season and the England midfielder looking fresh, strong and ready to finally make a mark on the first team.