Ruben Loftus-Cheek hasn’t quite had the start to the season that the midfielder would have hoped for.
Having been a part of the England World Cup squad, featuring in four games, the 22-year-old would have been hoping for a more regular role in the Chelsea line-up.
However, the midfielder has played just six times this season, making three appearances in the Premier League.
Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri has opted for countrymen Ross Barkley and new signing Mateo Kovacic over Loftus-Cheek this year.
In spite of his inconsistent role in the squad, Loftus-Cheek has been involved in Chelsea’s last four games, where he scored a hat-trick against BATE Borisov in the Europa League before netting in the Blues most recent league wins against Burnley.
Sarri explains what areas Loftus-Cheek needs improving in
And manager Sarri has ruled out any possible January loan move for Loftus-Cheek, as the Italian also revealed what the midfielder needs to improve on.
“Ruben in October played four matches out of five. At the moment the situation is not for a loan of course,” Sarri said.
“He has improved but needs to improve more from the tactical point of view.
“Physically, he has great characteristics: he is fast, solid, great impact, technically he is very good but if he wants to play as a midfielder he needs to improve in the defensive phase. The potential is great.”
With Barkley also in fine form and teammates Jorginho and N’golo Kante unlikely to give way in Sarri’s starting 11, the 22-year-old will need to listen to his managers comments.
Loftus-Cheek has however, featured as a wide-man, having replaced Pedro in Chelsea’s win over Burnley, and later started as a winger against Derby County in the Carabao Cup.
With Loftus-Cheek’s fellow centre midfielders possibly ahead of him in the pecking order, and star winger Eden Hazard also recently out injured - could RLC cement a regular spot in Chelsea starting 11 as a winger?