Ruben Loftus-Cheek has emphasised his desire of playing as a midfielder to Chelsea head coach Maurizio Sarri while he also reflected on the tight competition for places in the Blues midfield.
Loftus-Cheek has played the best part of his young career so far in the middle of the park yet in the current campaign, Sarri has occasionally positioned the 23-year-old down the flanks. In his latest outing for the west London side in a 5-0 mauling of Dynamo Kiev, he started alongside N’Golo Kante as one of the advanced midfielders infront of Jorginho before the Blues later dropped him back along with Jorginho as they saw out the win.
While Loftus-Cheek possesses the requisite skills to play out wide, the England international reveals he has expressed his desire of playing out his career as a No8 in a recent meeting with the ex-Napoli manager.
“We had a chat and I told him [Sarri] that eventually I want to be a midfielder and he respects that. I do see myself as a no.8, to get up and down,” said the 23-year-old midfielder.
“Earlier in your career you want to play anywhere, you are pleased just to play. Wherever I play I will do my best and against Kiev I was in midfield so it was perfect for me to get some fitness in my legs.”
His two goals and six assists prove a great return despite his limited game time this season owing to a recurrence of back problems and as he has managed to impress following a string of appearances in recent weeks, Sarri thinks the midfielder can go on to become one of the best midfielders in Europe. Yet with the likes of N’Golo Kante, Mateo Kovacic and Ross Barkley currently ahead of him in the pecking order, Loftus-Cheek accepts the fight for places in the Chelsea midfield remains fierce.
“That is life at a top football club, there are going to be top players and it improves you much more,” added Loftus-Cheek. You have to hold your own in training and rise to that level mentally. That is my approach to it.”