Ruben Loftus-Cheek sent clear Chelsea FC warning

Alan Smith believes Ruben Loftus-Cheek will struggle for game-time at Chelsea FC this season

By George Hallam
Maurizio Sarri
Chelsea FC manager Maurizio Sarri Photo: The Sport Review

Alan Smith believes Ruben Loftus-Cheek will struggle to get game time at Chelsea FC this season after their midfield has led them to maximum points so far this campaign.

New Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri brought Italian international midfielder Jorginho with him from Napoli for £51.3m as well as bringing in Croatian international midfielder Mateo Kovačić on loan from Real Madrid.

Smith believes that Chelsea’s success so far this season under Sarri is ominous for Ruben Loftus-Cheek’s chances to get game time under his belt.

He told the Evening Standard: “Chelsea’s new manager, with a 100 per cent record, has quickly instilled purpose into this team, partly through his methods, partly through new additions, notably in midfield.

“With Jorginho and Mateo Kovacic joining N’Golo Kante, the Blues take some beating there.

“It’s a classy combination that will only get better as understanding improves.”

“That may be great news for Chelsea fans, but it doesn’t make good reading for Ruben Loftus-Cheek if he stays at the Bridge.”

Chelsea have six central midfielders to choose from and with history as a guide, they tend to play players who they have spent huge fees for rather than playing talent brought through their academy.

“The 22-year-old must look at the other options in his area — Ross Barkley, Danny Drinkwater and Cesc Fabregas — and wonder how on earth he’s going to get a game,” Smith continued.

Smith believes Loftus-Cheek’s best chance of game time is with the England set-up which he has become increasingly more a part of over the last year.

Loftus-Cheek has been included in the England squad for the opening round of fixtures in UEFA’s new Nations League.

He said: “I’m just glad Gareth Southgate has kept faith by including the lad in his England squad for the matches against Spain and Switzerland.

“It is a chance for him to get some playing time under his belt.”

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