Loftus-Cheek hints at Chelsea stagnation; makes Conte admission

Date published: Wednesday 15th November 2017 10:24

Ruben Loftus-Cheek believes his development may have stalled after a lack of chances to shine in Chelsea’s first team.

The midfielder was one of the major pluses from England’s successive stalemates against Germany and Brazil, with the on-loan Crystal Palace star putting in a man-of-the-match performance against the world champions on Friday night.

Discussing the recent plaudits that have come his way, Loftus-Cheek reckons his time at Stamford Bridge may have held him back.

“I think in the last two or three years I’ve had to be patient,” Loftus-Cheek told the Croydon Advertiser.

“It was tough, mentally, at Chelsea not getting the game time, but I had to be really patient and have the mentality to still train right and do all the right things.

“A lack of games held me back, definitely. When I had a chance, and when you don’t play, you really feel the difference of what matches give you; the match sharpness, the fitness, the strength.

“It’s what you need to progress, so it was hard not playing when I was trying to be the best player on the pitch.”

 

Loftus-Cheek on Conte

Chelsea boss Antonio Conte has complained this season about having a small squad; that’s inspite of the likes of Loftus-Cheek being allowed to leave on loan.

Discussing his relationship with the Italian manager, the 21-year-old continued: “I’ve had no contact (with Conte). I’m focused at Palace for the season.

“I have a good relationship with Eddie Newton, he is helping me behind the scenes.

“There’s no bitterness I have got the chance at Chelsea. They are a massive club and I understand opportunities don’t come to everyone or often.

Ruben Loftus-Cheek: Could leave Chelsea on loan

“For me, I never would want to rewind the time because I learned a lot about myself mentally, and I think I have got mentally stronger.

“That period of two years was my journey but now I’ve got the chance to play.”

 

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Palace will have been concerned by Loftus-Cheek’s withdrawal after 34 minutes against Brazil on Tuesday night, and the player will report back to the Eagles on Wednesday morning for an assessment.

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