Chelsea and England playmaker Ruben Loftus-Cheek has hinted at a potential loan return to Crystal Palace in the new year.
The 22-year-old has played just 33 minutes for Maurizio Sarri’s men so far this season and looked understandably off the pace as he started for England in the 1-0 friendly win over Switzerland on Tuesday night.
Loftus-Cheek spent the whole of last season on loan at Selhurst Park but had been determined to force his way into Sarri’s side this campaign, something that has so far failed to materialise.
And when asked if he could return to the Eagles, the midfielder replied: “Possibly but it is still far away – there are still a lot of games to play and I just have to see what happens.
“Right now I am at Chelsea and my focus is at Chelsea and learning at Chelsea. That is in the future and we will deal with that when it comes.
“It is just down to me working hard in training, I don’t know whether I am going to play or not play but for me it stays the same.
“I will still train well and do everything the right way in case I do play.”
As for his dealings with Sarri and assistant Blues boss Gianfranco Zola so far, Loftus-Cheek added: “We had a lot of talks in the past couple of weeks and he said to me that I need to learn tactically so a lot of my focus and effort is learning his tactics and his ways in training.
“I think the quicker I get that, then I will get more opportunities to play.
“He is helping me and Gianfranco is helping me every day to learn as quickly as possible and that is great for me.
“Yes there are a lot of games coming up so I think there will be more opportunities coming for players that are not playing every week.”
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Loftus-Cheek’s lack of minutes was certainly evident in the friendly against the Swiss, as he admitted afterwards: “I didn’t play as well as I want to but that was my first start of the season so I’m not too down on it.
“I will build on that, I’m a player where a lot of my game is based on physicality and I obviously didn’t feel my fittest but I will build on that.
“We have got a really good squad, a really good, young team and I we won tonight but we can perform better and I think everyone needs to have patience as well.
“We are not going to become one of the best teams in the world overnight, so we will carry on working.
“It is good to see the fans get excited when we win and down when we lose.
“It is good to see they are supporting us and want us to do well. That is great for us but on our side we need to be patient and keep working and look to the future.”