Chelsea manager Frank Lampard has explained that Ruben Loftus-Cheek has “trained brilliantly” to get himself ready for the new season and is confident there is more to come from him moving forward.
Despite some game-time in the back end of last season, the English midfielder spent the majority of it sidelined through injury and he’s been extremely unlucky in that aspect during his career so far.
Loftus-Cheek is edging back towards full fitness and he was handed a start in the club’s opening game of the Premier League against Brighton on Monday.
The academy graduate was unable to leave his mark on the contest in a 3-1 victory and was substituted off after a frustrating 60 minutes.
He’s received a wave of criticism from some of the fanbase after his underwhelming display in the season opener, but has shown in the past his quality and he can be a powerhouse central midfielder.
Lampard has given his support for the 24-year-old in his Friday press conference and claimed the best is yet to come.
“I know Ruben’s story second best to how he knows it. He had a terrible injury, worked hard to come back from and was fit when lockdown came in. Worked hard in the restart,” Lampard said, as quoted by Football.London.
“He’s trained brilliantly to get fit again for start of the season and if there’s harsh criticism of him it’s very harsh. To come back has been difficult for him. He’s a hugely talented player, a great lad.
“There’s a lot more to come from but unfortunately nature of this game is reactionary.”
Loftus-Cheek is going to have to perform much better against Brighton if he wants regular minutes this season, but it’s great to hear Lampard come out in support of him.
The attacking midfielder has the body strength and physique to cause oppositions problems, plus he’s extremely nimble with the ball at his feet and has an eye for goal.
He’s understandably got nowhere near top gear since his return in recent months and needs one big display to really kickstart his career again.