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Loftus-Cheeks admits Chelsea ‘definitely’ held him back



Having found regular playing time at Crystal Palace and even earning a call-up for England, Ruben Loftus-Cheek is currently enjoying playing football. He looked back on his frustrating experience at Chelsea, describing it as « mentally tough ».

Gareth Southgate gave Loftus-Cheek the chance to impress on the international stage against Germany, with his standing in English football sky-rocketing since.

His talent has come as no surprise to Chelsea academy coaches, who were well aware of his impressive attributes, but the likes of Jose Mourinho and Antonio Conte never afforded the 21-year-old the chance to develop at Stamford Bridge.

« I think in the last two or three years I’ve had to be patient,’ he 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, » said the midfielder.

« 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, » he added. « 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. »

Having never been given the required time to Impress under Conte, Loftus-Cheek claimed he had no contact with the Italian: « I’ve had no contact (with Conte). I’m focused at Palace for the season. »


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