Premier League’s tactical expert Adrian Clarke has explained Ruben Loftus-Cheek’s qualities which will boost Chelsea ahead of league restart.
The 24-year-old has been missing this season due to a ruptured Achilles tendon in May last year.
Loftus-Cheek has now recovered and even joined the recent training sessions, which according to Clarke would be a massive help for Chelsea’s Champions League spots push.
Writing for the Premier League’s official website, the former Arsenal midfielder highlighted two things which Loftus-Cheek will offer to Frank Lampard’s tactical options; dynamic goal threat and ability to break the line.
Loftus-Cheek’s 10 goals across all competitions last season, including the six goals he scored in the Premier League from 24 appearances (18 were from the bench).
He recorded Chelsea’s best conversion rate (30%), as well as the best minute per goal ratio (163.8) at the club last season.
While the England international’s exceptional ball-control and techniques could really help Chelsea to break down defences.
Chelsea have often found it difficult to turn their possession into goalscoring opportunities, particularly against teams who sit deep.
And losing Eden Hazard’s ability to open up space has not really helped either.
The Belgium international averaged 4.3 dribbles per 90 minutes last season, while Chelsea’s best this season has been Mateo Kovacic with 3.7 dribbles per 90 minutes.
Loftus-Cheek who was Chelsea’s second-best last season (3.8 dribbles per 90 minutes) could help fill the void, especially in the attacking third where his imposing stature could also cause troubles for opponents’ defenders.
However, Clarke added that although Lampard will be delighted to have one of his best talents back, the manager is likely to integrate Loftus-Cheek gradually, initially from the bench.