Ruben Loftus-Cheek has now made two appearances for England.

Ruben Loftus-Cheek explains what went wrong for him at Chelsea

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It's astonishing to think Ruben Loftus-Cheek has made just 12 Premier League starts in his career.

The 21-year-old earned man-of-the-match with his performance in England's goalless draw with Germany on Friday night, a display that may have given him an outside chance of a shock call-up for the World Cup.

Gareth Southgate has been short in central midfield, not least because a host of players withdrew from international duty before the latest batch of friendlies.

However, the Three Lions boss was evidently impressed by the Chelsea loanee's progress in recent months.

Having cut his losses at Stamford Bridge, 'RLC' opted to spend the season with Crystal Palace.

Regardless of the Eagles' ongoing plight at the foot of the table, he has been a shining light in their campaign and incredibly, he's already started as many league games for the club as he did for the champions.

It's possible that he'll return to west London in the future, but it's fair to say Loftus-Cheek hasn't exactly been flattering when discussing his time with the Blues, suggesting they held him back.

"It was tough, mentally, at Chelsea not getting the game time, but I had to be really patient and have the mentality to still train right and do all the right things," he told the Croydon Advertiser.

Chelsea "held me back"

"A lack of games held me back, definitely. When I had a chance, and when you don't play, you really feel the difference of what matches give you; the match sharpness, the fitness, the strength.

"It's what you need to progress, so it was hard not playing when I was trying to be the best player on the pitch."

It's refreshing to hear a player speaking so honestly.

England v Germany - International Friendly

Palace's gain is Chelsea's loss, and Antonio Conte may rue the day he decided against giving an opportunity to such a promising youngster.

In fact, he admits he hasn't spoken to the manager of his parent club, which doesn't bode well for Chelsea fans hoping to see him back soon.

"I've had no contact (with Conte). I'm focused at Palace for the season," he added.

If you compare the starlet with Dele Alli, his childhood friend, it makes uncomfortable reading. The Tottenham playmaker scored more in his first 50 league games than Paul Scholes, Frank Lampard, and Steven Gerrard, just one sign of the enormous progress he's made.

It seems as if Loftus-Cheek has been around for an age, but far too much of that has only been on the fringes.

Is it time for Loftus-Cheek to get a chance at Chelsea? Have your say in the comments.

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Ruben Loftus-Cheek
England Football
Premier League

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