Gareth Southgate has reportedly included Chelsea midfielder Ruben Loftus-Cheek in his 55-man provisional England squad for the World Cup.
According to The Athletic, Southgate has offered the midfielder a glimmer of hope at representing his country for the first time since November 2018.
Loftus-Cheek featured at the previous World Cup in Russia, but has played just twice more for his country since that semi-final defat to Croatia.
Why hasn’t Loftus-Cheek been picked for England?
Injuries have played a major role in the 26-year-old’s repeated exclusion from international duty, along with an inability to establish himself at Stamford Bridge.
Yet, over the past 12 months or so, the Cobham academy graduate has grown in statue.
He is now a valued member of the Chelsea squad, having earned a revival under Thomas Tuchel last season.
Despite Tuchel’s exit in September, Loftus-Cheek has remained an important part of Graham Potter’s new project.
He has started all but two of Chelsea’s Premier League games this term, missing just three across all competitions.
Loftus-Cheek a step closer to the World Cup
Evidently, Southgate has appreciated the consistency of the player, something often marked against his name.
It would mark a huge point in Loftus-Cheek’s career if he were to be selected for the World Cup in Qatar, having missed so many major opportunities along the way.
Finalised squad must be submitted by November 14th, although The Athletic claim England’s will be in by November 10th.
With potentially just 11 days to go until the big reveal, can Loftus-Cheek do enough in the next two games to book his spot on the plane?