Ruben Loftus-Cheek could be looking at a fringe role with Chelsea as Frank Lampard plans for the future.
The England international missed almost the entirety of last season due to an achilles injury. He made a mere ten appearances overall, with one coming from the reserve league (via Transfermarkt).
Loftus-Cheek started Chelsea’s first match of the season against Brighton, but had little impact on the game. After making just 11 successful passes and losing ten of his 13 duels attempted, he was substituted off for Ross Barkley slightly after the hour mark (via Sofascore).
Should Chelsea keep or sell Ruben Loftus-Cheek?
The 24-year-old could be dropped to the bench once Hakim Ziyech and key player Christian Pulisic return from injury. Gary Neville also believes this is the case and thinks Chelsea should cash in sooner rather than later.
“I thought he was really disappointing. I don’t think Loftus-Cheek can complain. He’s been given games,” the Manchester United icon told Sky Sports (via Independent). “I don’t think he’s ever grasped his chance yet. There’s going to come a point when they’re going to cash in and get £25million for him.”
As a product of the Chelsea academy, Frank Lampard may be reluctant to let Loftus-Cheek leave the club. Despite a loan move to Crystal Palace in 2017, the midfielder has never played for another side. However, at 24, he should be playing regular football, if not being the focal point of the team.
Lampard defended the player’s performance and role at the club following their win over Brighton on Monday.
“We certainly have to give him a bit of time on those fronts. It’s a position that Ruben can play for us,” he said in a post-match interview.
It certainly seems as though Lampard values Loftus-Cheek as a senior member of the team. Only the season will show whether he is strong enough to be included ahead of some of Chelsea’s best players.
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