Chelsea midfielder Ruben Loftus-Cheek seemingly hasn’t ruled out a move away from Stamford Bridge next year, but is focused on winning a place in the line-up in the meantime.
The 22-year-old has struggled to make his mark so far this season, playing just 33 minutes in the Premier League in two outings out of the four games.
It’s been a common theme of his time with the Blues, while conversely he proved his quality at Crystal Palace last season with a loan stint in which he made 25 appearances in all competitions and won a place in the England squad for the World Cup.
However, as he now risks failing to feature regularly at Chelsea, it could jeopardise his position in Gareth Southgate’s plans and so evidently, the next few months could prove crucial as to what Loftus-Cheek decides to do next.
When quizzed on a return to Palace, he said: “Possibly but it is still far away – there are still a lot of games to play and I just have to see what happens,” he is quoted as saying by The Sun. “Right now I am at Chelsea and my focus is at Chelsea and learning at Chelsea. That is in the future and we will deal with that when it comes.”
With Jorginho, Mateo Kovacic, N’Golo Kante, Ross Barkley and Cesc Fabregas all vying for playing time and arguably all ahead of him in the pecking order, it’s difficult to see where Loftus-Cheek gets his break and plays consistently.
An argument could be made that given Chelsea are set to feature in multiple competitions this season, including the Europa League, he will get his chances eventually as Sarri will have to rotate and give others a chance.
Meanwhile, he also opened up on what specific aspect Sarri is demanding he improves in, and it appears as though the England international must still prove to the Italian tactician that he has grasped his tactical demands in training before being shown more faith in the starting XI.
“We had a lot of talks in the past couple of weeks and he said to me that I need to learn tactically so a lot of my focus and effort is learning his tactics and his ways in training. I think the quicker I get that, then I will get more opportunities to play.”