The 22-year-old midfielder is currently representing England in Russia, but he is still unclear about his future at club level
Ruben Loftus-Cheek has warned Chelsea he needs to play regular football next season if he is to remain at Stamford Bridge.
Loftus-Cheek, the England midfielder, is currently representing his nation at the World Cup, having impressed after coming off the bench in the Three Lions’ opener, a 2-1 defeat of Tunisia.
There are calls for Gareth Southgate to throw the 22-year-old into the starting line-up for the clash against Panama, on Sunday, which would make Loftus-Cheek a starting international despite still being unclear over his club future.
He spent last season on loan at Crystal Palace, impressing under the tutelage of Roy Hodgson, and they want to sign him from Chelsea permanently.
And Loftus-Cheek has admitted he may be forced to leave Stamford Bridge if Chelsea’s manager, expected to be Maurizio Sarri, cannot guarantee him play time.
“Yes, exactly,” Loftus-Cheek said. “That’s the key for me next season regarding where I end up. I want to play. I want to play as much as I can. And even this past season just gone I didn’t play as much as I would have liked to because of the injuries and stuff. So I still feel I need a proper season of playing, wherever it is.
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“I’m confident in my ability that I can do well wherever it is. But I’m just not thinking about whether I’m going to play at Chelsea right now. I’m focused on the tournament.”
Loftus-Cheek may be disappointed he has made only 32 first-team appearances for Chelsea, despite being heralded as one of their brightest talents for a number of years, but he does understand why the chances have not been there for him in west London.
He added: “Ever since I was in the Chelsea academy, I’ve had that awareness that people were saying I would be the one to break through since JT [John Terry].
“I believed I could, but the opportunities didn’t quite come for me. But I do understand that Chelsea is a big club and there is pressure on managers to win games, trophies. So I understand they might not be willing to take a chance on someone.”
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