Former England and Everton manager Sam Allardyce has encouraged Chelsea youngster Ruben Loftus-Cheek to leave the club this summer if he wants to continue his rapid ascent as one of the country’s most exciting prospects.
The 22-year-old is coming off an impressive season, during which he played a crucial role on loan at Crystal Palace as the Eagles managed to avoid relegation from the Premier League despite having lost their first seven consecutive top-flight games.
As a reward for his stunning performances, Loftus-Cheek earned a call-up to the 23-man England World Cup squad which is currently in Russia and he was handed a start on Thursday as the English lost 1-0 against Belgium.
Had Loftus-Cheek remained at Chelsea last season, it is likely that he would have been only given minutes during cup matches and possibly a few cameos off the bench.
He took full advantage of the opportunity for first-team Premier League action that was handed to him last season and not many would have given him a chance of making the England World Cup squad this time last year.
Loftus-Cheek is returning to Chelsea this summer and if the club are smart, they will include him as a key part of their first-team plans going into next season. He certainly has all the qualities which are required to go on and become a successful Premier League player.
If his development also continues at a rapid rate, he could be a key part of the England team by the time the next World Cup comes around.
“It depends on Antonio Conte,” Allardyce told the Daily Star. “Is he going to play for Chelsea? If you’re going to play for Chelsea, and certainly he’s showing that he’s good enough to play for Chelsea, that’s his dream club obviously.
“Look what going on loan has done for him. If Loftus-Cheek hadn’t gone on loan to Crystal Palace this season he would be nowhere near the World Cup squad.
“And because he’s gone to Crystal Palace at 22, which is far too late in his career, look what he’s achieved. So if he’s got no future at Chelsea then get to a Premier League club as quick as you can and shine and continue to grow.”