Chelsea beat Aston Villa on Wednesday night in the Carabao Cup, with Ruben Loftus-Cheek turning out to be one of the most impressive performers at Stamford Bridge.
Thomas Tuchel’s side eventually beat Villa 4-3 on penalties after the teams were locked together at 1-1 after 90 minutes.
It means the Blues will now host Southampton in the fourth round of the domestic cup competition.
Loftus-Cheek, 25, was given his first start of the season last night.
It’s been a tough couple of years for the Chelsea academy graduate, but he reminded everyone of his talent in midweek with an eye-catching display. He slotted in as a deeper midfielder against Villa, so he saw plenty of the ball and kept possession ticking over quickly.
His loan spell at Fulham last season ended up petering out, but the signs from last night are that he could still have a role to play for Chelsea this campaign.
Kepa Arrizabalaga and Danny Drinkwater were among those to respond to Loftus-Cheek’s Instagram post last night.
Loftus-Cheek gives timely reminder
If yesterday had gone badly, you’d suspect it would have been difficult for Loftus-Cheek to play many more games in a Chelsea shirt.
Fortunately, the central midfielder was one of the best individuals on the pitch for the entire 90 minutes.
If Chelsea boss Tuchel wants to use a 3-5-2 more regularly, he may have another genuine midfield option in Loftus-Cheek to fill in when needed.
N’Golo Kante, Jorginho and Mateo Kovacic are the three frontrunners within the squad to start in the centre of the park. However, Saul Niguez, along with Loftus-Cheek, will be eying more minutes.
Keep up to date with all the latest Chelsea news and opinion by following The Chelsea Chronicle’s Twitter account here.