As he responds to Thomas Tuchel’s summons, Ruben Loftus-Cheek can turn back time at Chelsea

Since Graham Potter assumed control of Chelsea last month, Ruben Loftus-Cheek has been one of the team’s star players.

Oh, and Ruben Loftus-Cheek received his first call-up to the senior England team. The Chelsea midfielder made his international debut against Germany and played the entire 90 minutes in a goalless draw. At the time, he was on loan at Crystal Palace. After a spectacular performance, he was named man of the match.

Gareth Southgate’s selection of Loftus-Cheek for his 23-man team for the 2018 FIFA world cup did not come as much of a surprise after he made an impression on the international stage and for Palace in the Premier League.

In England’s opening game against Tunisia, Loftus-Cheek made his world cup debut, coming in for dele Alli with 10 minutes remaining. The Chelsea midfielder was subsequently given the starting nod by Southgate in back-to-back group games against Panama and Belgium, where he continued to shine.

Loftus-Cheek was unlucky to be left off the starting lineup for the Round of 16 quarterfinals and semifinals, when he served as a substitute in all three contests.

Twelve months after making his senior international debut, he then played for the three Lions in international friendly up to November 2018. Loftus-Cheek then experienced the unthinkable in May 2019: a torn Achilles that ultimately forced him to miss more than a year of action.

In an interview with Chelsea’s official website in November 2021, Loftus-cheek stated: “After I came back from that injury, I didn’t feel the same. I wanted a season where I could play as much as possible since I’m a strong player who depends on his physique and strength, but I missed a lot of it [spent the 2020–21 season on loan at Fulham].

“I always felt I could go back to the stage I was at before the accident,” the athlete said. “I had to put in a lot of extra hours in the gym, especially on my calves because I lost a lot of the muscular mass.”

In actuality, Loftus-England Cheek’s career has been limited by that horrible injury. He last competed for his nation in November 2018. The strong midfielder is undoubtedly a favorite of Southgate. With what he has observed from Loftus-Cheek this season, particularly under Graham Potter, the England manager will undoubtedly be impressed.

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He has either played in the center of midfield, which is more natural for him, or as a right wing-back, where he has regularly performed well. Loftus-Cheek was shifted to the right flank on Sunday against Aston Villa, but he then swapped back and became more central. The fact that Chelsea lost a lot of stuff when he was switched to the wing-back position is a testimonial to his skill in the centre of the field.

On Sunday, Southgate attended Villa Park, where he met several players from both teams who may be called up to the world cup roster that will be named later this week. The England boss will have been impressed with Mason Mount’s two outstanding goals in the Midlands, but Loftus-radiant Cheek’s play on the field would also have attracted his attention.

Right now, it only functions as an outside short. But Loftus-Cheek has subtly positioned himself to be picked for Southgate’s team. He still responds to the request made by former head coach Thomas Tuchel earlier this year when he implored Loftus-Cheek to let loose his “beast.”

On Loftus-Cheek in April, Tuchel observed, “He needs to push himself to the maximum.” “Because he is so physically strong and capable, that is the issue.

“He often has a quiet demeanor and is bashful. He must find this beast within himself and regularly let it loose because it is imperative.

“I’m not satisfied because this is not enough. We cannot allow him think that it is enough. He needs to always push himself to the edge,” said the coach. “If you look at his past years, it may seem as a first step that he is a regular.


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