Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri has revealed how ‘happy’ he is with Ruben Loftus Cheek’s progress in training and hopes he will soon be ready to start for the team.
Loftus-Cheek is a product of the youth system at Stamford Bridge and has spent the last four years trying to break into the starting XI at the club with the senior team. He has only managed to make 33 appearances for the Blues so far and spent last season on loan with Crystal Palace, where he impressed as Roy Hodgson’s side successfully avoided relegation.
His performances for the Eagles earned him a call-up to Gareth Southgate’s World Cup squad with England and he played a small part in Russia as the team made it through to the semifinals of the competition.
At 22 years of age, Loftus-Cheek should be playing regularly at club level, having proved himself as a capable and effective midfielder with an eye for a pass and an intimidating physical presence over the last couple of years.
According to Chelsea’s official website, Sarri has been impressed by what he has seen from the Englishman since he arrived at the club this summer, as he told reporters at today’s press conference: “I am very, very happy with him. In the last 10 days he has improved a lot. I am really very happy with him. He will be important for sure, starting in September when we will play every three days. I think Loftus will be very useful for us.
“I think he can be a Premier League starter at Chelsea. It’s not easy to play here, there are 25 very good players so it’s not easy to play in the starting XI, but if he improves more he will be ready to play from the beginning.
“He has to improve in order to play my football. He has great qualities from the physical and technical point of view, but he has to improve in the tactical point of view.”
Chelsea have made a 100% start to the new Premier League season, securing wins against Huddersfield, Arsenal and Newcastle to emerge as early frontrunners in the title race, as their new Italian boss begins to implement his unique style of play.
Loftus-Cheek certainly has the qualities to make an impact but it remains to be seen whether or not he can force his way into the starting XI with fierce competition from the likes of Jorginho, N’golo Kante, Mateo Kovacic, Cesc Fabregas and Willian.