Ruben Loftus-Cheek has revealed he is getting pointers from Chelsea legend Gianfranco Zola in order to learn the Maurizio Sarri way.
Having decided to stay at Chelsea, Loftus-Cheek had found first-team opportunities hard to come by at the club. While he made his first start in the new campaign for England in their 1-0 defeat of Switzerland, his appearances in a Blues shirt are limited to just two substitute outings into the new season.
Yet, the 22-year-old has embraced the possibility of working his way into the Blues’ starting lineup and has recently revealed he is learning from no other than Zola, Chelsea legend and current No2 to Sarri. “The manager and Gianfranco are helping me every day to learn the way he wants me to play as quickly as possible,” said the midfielder.
“You couldn’t really get a better teacher than Gianfranco [Zola] I didn’t watch him when I was a kid – I was too young – but you see clips of what he did for Chelsea, so to have him as an assistant is great for us players.”
As previously mentioned by Sarri, the Chelsea youth product needs to improve the tactical side of the game in order to get a look-in to the first-team. “We have had talks in the past couple of weeks and he told me that I need to learn tactically, so my focus is learning his tactics and his ways. The quicker I get that then the more opportunities I will get.”
“It is down to me working hard. I still train well and do everything the right way in case I do play. There are a lot of games coming up so there will be more opportunities. We have to be ready.”
Despite looking to fight for his place in the Blues setup, Loftus-Cheek admitted that he could yet go out on loan in January, with Crystal Palace – where he spent last season – his likely destination. Quizzed on whether he considers moving to Selhurst Park to gain more time on the pitch, the England midfielder said: “Possibly I could go back, but January is still far away. There are still a lot of games to play and I have to see what happens.
“Right now I am at Chelsea and my focus is at Chelsea and learning there. January is in the future and we will deal with that when it comes.”