MX23RW : Saturday, February 16 14:19:08

Ruben Loftus-Cheek pondering Chelsea future as he targets regular football

Ruben Loftus-Cheek 'understands' his lack of playing time at Chelsea, but says that he will seek a move away this summer if he is not guaranteed more minutes.

Chelsea midfielder Ruben Loftus-Cheek has revealed that he will consider leaving the club this summer unless he is promised more regular playing time.

The 22-year-old's stock has continued to rise over the past year thanks to an impressive campaign on loan at Crystal Palace, helping to earn him a place in England's World Cup squad.

Loftus-Cheek has made just six Premier League starts for the Blues since making his debut in December 2014, however, and was only used from the bench during the 2016-17 season.

With a number of teams expected to be interested in a loan move, the Chelsea academy product will seek assurances about his future after the World Cup before deciding what step to take next.

"That's the key for me next season regarding where I end up: I want to play," he told reporters. "I want to play as much as I can. And even this past season I didn't play as much as I would have liked, because of the injuries and stuff, so I still feel I need a proper season of playing, wherever it is.

"I do understand Chelsea are a big club and there is always pressure on managers to win games and trophies. So I understand they might not be willing to take a chance on someone at a bigger club.

"Ever since I was in the Chelsea academy, I've had that awareness that people were saying I would be the first one to break through since John Terry. I believed I could but the opportunities didn't quite come for me. It's hard to keep training at your best but I made sure I did for when the time came, or when I did get opportunities like at Palace.

"We'll see what happens. I'm confident in my ability and that I can do well, wherever it is. But I'm not thinking about whether I'm going to play at Chelsea right now. I'm only focused on the tournament."

Loftus-Cheek is in line to start England's meeting with Panama at the weekend as Dele Alli is struggling with a thigh injury.


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England and Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Dele Alli in training ahead of the 2018 World Cup
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