Insiders within the Chelsea camp claimed Thomas Tuchel gave Ruben Loftus-Cheek personalised praise ahead of the new campaign.
According to The Athletic’s sources, Tuchel was shocked by the midfielder’s respective lack of minutes for the Blues.
“Ruben walked across and Tuchel said something along the lines of, ‘You are special. I cannot believe you haven’t played more for Chelsea,’ said the Stamford Bridge informant.
That sentiment is one that has been repeated by Chelsea supporters for what seems like an eternity.
They were teased in 2018/19 when the 25-year-old made 40 appearances across all competitions and contributed 15 goals.
It looked like the Loftus-Cheek era was truly about to take flight.
Stopped in his tracks
But he was then completely grounded by an Achilles tendon rupture that kept him sidelined for 13 months. Unlucky for some.
Upon his recovery, the former England international joined Fulham on a season long-loan in order to regain fitness and confidence.
The Cottagers eventually lost their Premier League housing permit, but at least their part-time tenant managed to rearrange his furniture.
Loftus-Cheek returned to Chelsea over the summer, unsure how – if at all – he would fit into Tuchel’s plans.
If the Athletic’s words are anything to go by, the German coach had every intention of adding the delightful dribbler to his squad.
And the pair’s conversation is now beginning to bear fruit.
In the past four fixtures, Loftus-Cheek has featured, either from the start or as a substitute.
His latest performance – the 3-1 victory over Southampton – had pundits purring from their pedestals.
He and Tuchel now have another fortnight together to hone in on the skills that need improving.
Brentford is up next for Chelsea, with Loftus-Cheek aiming to continue his hot streak.