Ruben Loftus-Cheek could be set for a return to the Chelsea first-team, having impressed manager Thomas Tuchel in pre-season, according to Football London.

In a recent interview with Chelsea’s official website, Tuchel spoke about his intention to give returning loanees and academy players an opportunity to prove themselves during the pre-season.

A few players seem to have grabbed their chances so far, particularly Loftus-Cheek, as reported by Football London.

The 25-year-old had a rather underwhelming loan spell at relegated Fulham side last season, but we have all seen what he is truly capable of.

Chelsea Pre-Season Training Session
(Photo by Darren Walsh/Chelsea FC via Getty Images)

Not to mention that Billy Gilmour’s loan exit to Norwich City could pave the way for Loftus-Cheek’s return.

Similar to Mason Mount, Loftus-Cheek could provide a more versatile, attacking midfield option for Tuchel.

 

Well, even before Loftus-Cheek’s return from loan, Tuchel seemed to have already been keeping an eye on the midfielder.

Chelsea Pre-Season Training Session
(Photo by Darren Walsh/Chelsea FC via Getty Images)

Tuchel’s new Michael Ballack?

“I was quite a fan of him when he was even younger,” Tuchel said about the Loftus-Cheek back in April.

“His style of play and movements reminded us a bit of Michael Ballack.”

Like Ballack, Loftus-Cheek ticks all the boxes in terms of the physical attributes and is by far the tallest midfielder in the team, something that Chelsea have lacked in the last couple of seasons.

Chelsea v Peterborough United: Pre-Season Friendly
(Photo by Darren Walsh/Chelsea FC via Getty Images)

Loftus-Cheek is not the only player that has caught Tuchel’s eye, however, as young right-back Dujon Sterling and young striker Armando Broja have also impressed the German, according to the report.

Earlier reports suggest that Tuchel are looking to strengthen both right-back and striker positions this summer, and these two could be in the discussions, along with a number of potential transfer targets.

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