Belfast Telegraph

I could leave Chelsea in search of first-team football – Loftus-Cheek

Loftus-Cheek has made only a handful of Premier league starts for Chelsea since making his debut in 2014.

Chelsea midfielder Ruben Loftus-Cheek is hoping to play regular first-team football next season, whether that be with the Blues or away from Stamford Bridge.

The 22-year-old England international, currently in Russia with the national team for the World Cup, has made only a handful of Premier league starts for Chelsea since making his debut in 2014 and spent last season on loan at Crystal Palace.

While at Selhurst Park, Loftus-Cheek started 21 of his 24 top-flight appearances – before injury took its toll – and earned his first England call-up in November before being named in Gareth Southgate’s 23-man squad for Russia.

Loftus-Cheek, who is likely to start Sunday’s Group G clash with Panama, told several national newspapers: “That’s the key for me next season regarding where I end up: I want to play.

“I want to play as much as I can. And even this past season I didn’t play as much as I would have liked, because of the injuries and stuff, so I still feel I need a proper season of playing, wherever it is.

“I do understand Chelsea are a big club and there is always pressure on managers to win games and trophies. So I understand they might not be willing to take a chance on someone at a bigger club.

“Ever since I was in the Chelsea Academy, I’ve had that awareness that people were saying I would be the first one to break through since John Terry. I believed I could but the opportunities didn’t quite come for me.

“It’s hard to keep training at your best but I made sure I did for when the time came, or when I did get opportunities like at Palace.

“We’ll see what happens. I’m confident in my ability and that I can do well, wherever it is. But I’m not thinking about whether I’m going to play at Chelsea right now. I’m only focused on the tournament.”

Press Association


From Belfast Telegraph