Chelsea manager Ruben Loftus-Cheek has urged youngster Ruben Loftus-Cheek to toughen up in order to establish himself within the club’s first-team plans.
Loftus-Cheek spent last season on loan with Crystal Palace in order to try to prove to the Chelsea hierarchy that he is capable of handling the demands of top-flight football in England. He was one of the Eagles’ outstanding players last term and earned himself a place in the 23-man England squad for the World Cup in Russia.
Loftus-Cheek has been a player at Chelsea since he was just eight years old. As a result, it is his dream to one day become a first-team regular for the Blues. After the impression he made under Roy Hodgson last season, many fans would have expected him to walk into the Chelsea team, or any Premier League side this season for that matter.
However, things have not gone according to plan as he has just made two league appearances under Sarri so far in 2018/19. The Londoner is regarded as one of Chelsea’s best homegrown products since John Terry. As was shown by his performances last season, he does have the potential to succeed in the Premier League.
Speaking about Loftus-Cheek’s situation, Sarri said as quoted by Sky Sports: “The pressure is normal for a player of high level so he has to get used to the pressure. It’s normal for a high-level player to have pressure from the club, the newspapers, TV, the manager.”
With Chelsea performing well so far this season, he could have a tough battle on his hands to gain regular football. At 22, he does still have a lot to learn and will get better with age as he nears the peak of his career, which will come in about five years time. If he does struggle to earn regular action by December, the starlet should consider pushing for another loan move for the second half of the season. This will allow him to continue his growth as well as push for selection in the England squad.