Tuchel a fan of Loftus-Cheek: ‘He reminds me of Ballack, but his future at Chelsea is unclear’

Martin Macdonald
Tuchel a fan of Loftus-Cheek: ‘He reminds me of Ballack, but his future at Chelsea is unclear’

Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel has admitted to being in the dark about the future of Ruben Loftus-Cheek at Stamford Bridge, but wants to see the player in person before any decision is made.

Loftus-Cheek is an academy graduate with the Blues and has been a member of the first-team squad for a while now, but has previously been sent out on loan to Crystal Palace and is currently on loan at Fulham for the 2020/21 campaign.

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Injuries have played their part in his development being hindered, but he has never been able to enjoy a sustained period as a starter with Chelsea.

Tuchel replaced Frank Lampard and arrived at the club after Loftus-Cheek was already out on loan and so had no say in the decision to send the Englishman away on a temporary basis.

It does seem like Tuchel is interested to see what Loftus-Cheek has, though, and even compared him to former Chelsea star Michael Ballack.

“It is not decided yet,” Tuchel said about Loftus Cheek’s future.

“I was quite a fan of him when he was younger. He reminded me of Michael Ballack. There were links with him moving to Germany.

“We are well aware of his talent. I don’t know why things have not worked out as he wished but now he is doing good. I cannot judge him from TV and hearsay, I love to work with players, then to give my opinion.”

Will Loftus-Cheek be sold by Chelsea?

If the 25-year-old were to remain a Chelsea player this summer, he would be competing for minutes in central midfield with Jorginho, Mateo Kovacic, N’Golo Kante, Billy Gilmour and Mason Mount.

Loftus-Cheek can no longer be described as a young player trying to find his feet in the game and at his mid 20s should be on his way to his peak as a professional.

Unless Tuchel sees something he can work with, it seems unlikely that Loftus-Cheek will be kept on.

A return to Fulham on a permanent basis is a possibility, but he will not be short on other suitors in the Premier League should he move on from the Blues.