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Jun 24, 2018 at 1pm UK at ​Nizhny Novgorod Stadium
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Frank Lampard: 'Ruben Loftus-Cheek a great weapon for England'

Former Chelsea midfielder Frank Lampard believes that Blues academy product Ruben Loftus-Cheek is a "great weapon" for Gareth Southgate's England side.

Former Chelsea midfielder Frank Lampard has stated that Ruben Loftus-Cheek is a "great weapon" for both his club and for Gareth Southgate's England side.

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 Southgate's World Cup squad.

Loftus-Cheek is rumoured to be in line to make his first competitive start for England against Panama on Sunday, and Lampard is confident that the Blues academy product is more than ready to make his mark.

"Ruben is someone I know really well from when he was coming through the youth ranks at Chelsea," new Derby County boss Lampard told BBC Sport. "He is 22 now, but he probably came on to my radar when he was 15 because he was so highly spoken of.

"He would occasionally come and train with us in the first team from the age of 16, because he was that advanced. Straight away he made an impression because of his physical attributes, but he knew how to play too - he had great ability and even then he could drift past people on the ball.

"He does that even better now, with his pace and power when he is running at you, which makes him different from a lot of modern-day midfield players - and puts a fear into the opposition that they do not usually have. That is what he will bring to England's midfield against Panama, and his versatility makes him even more unique.

"Ruben is often used as an advanced midfielder, but he is neat and tidy enough on the ball to play as a link-man deeper in midfield. He can do both sides of the game, which makes him a great weapon for England boss Gareth Southgate to have, because having him on the pitch does not compromise the team in attack or defence."

Loftus-Cheek has also been praised by Palace boss Roy Hodgson, who compared his former loanee to Germany legend Michael Ballack.


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Crystal Palace manager Roy Hodgson waves to the crowd after the match against West Bromwich Albion on May 13, 2018
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Hodgson compares Loftus-Cheek to Ballack
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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Manchester CityMan City27212474205465
2Liverpool26205159154465
3Tottenham HotspurSpurs26200654252960
4Manchester UnitedMan Utd26156552351751
5Arsenal26155653371650
6Chelsea26155645291650
7Wolverhampton WanderersWolves2611693433139
8Watford2610793434037
9Everton2796123639-333
10West Ham UnitedWest Ham2696113239-733
11Bournemouth26103133747-1033
12Leicester CityLeicester2695123134-332
13Crystal Palace2676132734-727
14Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton2676132839-1127
15Burnley2676132947-1827
16Newcastle UnitedNewcastle2667132234-1225
17Cardiff CityCardiff2674152447-2325
18Southampton2659122844-1624
19Fulham2645172558-3317
20Huddersfield TownHuddersfield2625191448-3411

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