‘He’s a fantastic specimen’: Rio Ferdinand praises Chelsea FC midfielder

Rio Ferdinand heaps praise on Ruben Loftus-Cheek after he started for Chelsea FC against Malmo on Tuesday night

Rio Ferdinand
Manchester United legend Rio Ferdinand (Photo: BT Sport)

Rio Ferdinand has admitted that he “loves” Ruben Loftus-Cheek and feels that the midfielder can still fulfil his potential at Chelsea FC.

The 25-year-old was handed his first Champions League start in more than five years on Tuesday night when he lined up for the Blues’ clash away at Malmo.

Loftus-Cheek has struggled with form and fitness issues in recent years but he is now hoping to prove himself as worthy of a regular spot in the first team to Thomas Tuchel.

The English midfielder has made nine appearances in all competitions, notching up two assists in five Premier League games to help the Blues top the Premier League table.

Loftus-Cheek produced a fine display on Tuesday night as he played the full 90 minutes and helped Tuchel’s men to seal a 1-0 victory thanks to Hakim Ziyech’s second-half goal in Sweden.

And speaking before the game, former Manchester United defender Ferdinand revealed that he is a keen admirer of the midfielder.

“I love him,” Ferdinand said on BT Sport. “I’ve always known about him from friends at Chelsea.

“He’s a fantastic specimen, first and foremost. I liken him, in full flow, to someone like Yaya Toure.

“He can intimidate players. When he turns and goes full pelt, it’s unplayable at times. As a centre back that’s one of your biggest fears.

“He’s a fantastic talent. He’s as comfortable in the wide areas of a front three as he is in front of the defence. You don’t get that with many players. The strings he has to his bow are beautiful.”

Meanwhile, Chelsea FC boss Tuchel was pleased by Loftus-Cheek’s performance against Malmo and says that he can establish himself as a regular part of his Blues team.

Asked about Loftus-Cheek at his post-match news conference on Tuesday night, Tuchel said: “I’m happy he fought his way through.

“In the moment it’s symbolic for him he does not disappear. He wants to dominate opponents, he wants not just to be a part of the game because he is too talented for that.

“He needs to use his full potential, that is the key for him. If he does this like he is at the moment, he can be a big part of the squad.”

Chelsea FC will host Burnley in the Premier League on Saturday afternoon.

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