The 24-year-old has yet to play for Chelsea’s first team this season. For Ruben Loftus-Cheek, the pause in Premier League football came at a poor time. Champions League fans can book Champions League Final Tickets on our website on exclusively discounted prices.
The 24-year-old ruptured his Achilles’ tendon in May 2019, during a post-season friendly against New England Revolution. Loftus-Cheek missed the Europa League final and has spent the whole year in an attempt to recover and get back to first-team action.
After a few set-backs, Loftus-Cheek finally got back to action when he played in a behind-closed-doors match against Brentford. He then made his first public appearance for the U23s in March, getting through 90 minutes and winning a penalty against Everton in PL2.
After being on the bench for the first team but being an unused substitute, Loftus-Cheek played another behind-closed-doors match at Cobham. The midfielder was close to a return before football was suspended due to the coronavirus outbreak.
“It was frustrating for sure. I’ve put a lot of hard work into getting fit and had just finished what was kind of like my pre-season. I was training with the group and then doing my stuff afterward with the fitness coaches, which was hard trying to get fit to play as quickly as possible.
“I’d been doing that for weeks and weeks and started to feel like I was very close but then lockdown came. It was frustrating but that’s life. I’ve just had to carry on keeping fit.”
After a long lay-off, Loftus-Cheek will be desperate to get back to playing, but when football returns where will he fit in? The one thing which was keeping the England international from getting back into Lampard’s team was match fitness, but that might not be a problem.
Chelsea’s last match was at the beginning of March, meaning that all the Chelsea players and those around the Premier League will be struggling with a lack of match fitness.
It almost puts Loftus-Cheek on a level playing field with the rest of the squad, meaning he has a better chance of playing a bigger part. The other thing which might be in his favor is the fact that the Premier League could allow more substitutes per match.
Loftus-Cheek is set to play a bigger role once the campaign gets back underway, but the question remains over what position he might play. There are three options for the way that Lampard might use him. The first is in the number ten roles, a position which has mainly been played by Mason Mount this season.
Meanwhile, if Lampard goes for a three in midfield formation, Loftus-Cheek might be used on the left of the midfield. The last position could be out on the wing, a position he has played on a few occasions for the Blues.
Loftus-Cheek will feel like a new signing when football returns and his role could have a massive impact on a Champions League place.
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