England midfielder Ruben Loftus-Cheek is on a mission to impress the new Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri and break into the Chelsea side.
The 22-year-old who made his first start of the season in England’s friendly victory over Switzerland, has played only 33 minutes for Chelsea this season and instead has sat on the sidelines, studying what Sarri demands of his midfielders.
It is doubtful Loftus-Cheek will start in Chelsea’s home match against Cardiff on Saturday but he is hoping to make his mark for Chelsea in the Europa League, which commences next Thursday when the club play at Paok Salonika.
The Chelsea manager has spoken publicly about Loftus-Cheek’s need to improve ‘tactically’ if he is to establish himself as a regular starting player in the team.
“We have to be ready and do our best when we get the chance. We had a lot of talks in the past couple of weeks and he [Sarri] said to me that I need to learn tactically so a lot of my focus and effort is learning his tactics and his ways in training,” Loftus-Cheek said.
“I think the quicker I get then the more opportunities I will get to play. He is helping me and Gianfranco (Zola, the Chelsea great and Sarri’s assistant) is helping me every day to learn it as quickly as possible and that is great for me.”
Loftus-Cheek who has been playing for Chelsea since he was 8 years old, impressed while of loan at Crystal Palace last season, earning a World Cup call-up with his dynamic displays in 24 games, which helped keep the Eagles in the Premier League.
“I really enjoyed playing and training with [Chelsea’s squad], I could feel myself getting better every day and improving, but it got to a point where training wasn’t enough and you need the exposure in the Premier League,” he said.
“That’s when I took the chance to go to Palace, and even when that happened, I thought I could’ve done it earlier.
“I started really enjoying my football, playing in the Premier League every week, and I felt the benefits.”