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14/11/2017 - 23:50 GMT

Chelsea Legend Says Blues Youngster Would Have Benefited From Earlier Loan

 




Chelsea legend Pat Nevin thinks Ruben Loftus-Cheek would have benefitted further if he had been loaned out by the Blues a year earlier.

The midfielder, who joined Crystal Palace on a season-long loan deal in the summer, has been in fine form for the Eagles.




Loftus-Cheek recently earned his first senior cap for England when the Three Lions took on world champions Germany in a friendly last week; he was the standout England player.

And Nevin, who feels the 21-year-old possesses the skills to thrive in the Premier League, explained what the youngster needs to do during his loan spell in order to regularly play for Chelsea next season.

 


“Yes, it might be hard to get a first-team berth at Chelsea, but that is the challenge you must believe you are capable of meeting”, Nevin wrote in his column on Chelsea’s official site.

“Ruben has the physique equal of just about anyone in the Premier League, he clearly has skill to cope at the top level, so what does he have to do?

“If he scores between five and 10 goals this season, ups the number of assists and begins to boss midfields in the Premier League, then it will a no-brainer for the club I suspect.

“It is a high bar, but accept anything less and it will mean you will fail to be one of the top clubs in world football.”


Nevin went on to add that for Loftus-Cheek, who has thus far turned out 32 times for Chelsea, scoring twice and setting up five goals, it would have been better for the young midfielder if he had been loaned out a year earlier.

“It is rather strange that I have recently read that Tammy [Abraham] is being held back in his Chelsea career because he has been loaned out to Bristol City then Swansea, but that Ruben was held back because he wasn’t loaned out enough”, he continued.

“You can’t win really, but I personally feel that it would have helped Ruben to have been loaned out a year earlier.

“I suspect first Jose [Mourinho] and then Antonio [Conte] felt that they needed cover in case of injuries and suspensions, which is certainly the manager’s prerogative.

“It is hard to fault last season; Antonio didn’t have many injuries, suspensions or indeed many defeats in the end and lest we forget, even Cesc Fabregas couldn’t get a game many weeks because of the extraordinary run the team went on.”


Loftus-Cheek has so far made eight appearances in all competitions for Crystal Palace, providing two assists, and is in the thick of a relegation battle with the Eagles.