LNTUP

Loftus Cheek Should Be Called Back At Stamford Bridge

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Willian has urged Chelsea to recall Ruben Loftus-Cheek from Crystal Palace and give the England youngster a chance at Stamford Bridge.

Chelsea’s Brazilian forward revealed he cannot understand why his club allowed Loftus-Cheek, 21, to join Palace on a season-long loan.

Willian, who came on as a substitute as his country were held to a 0-0 draw by a battling young England at Wembley on Tuesday, saw Loftus-Cheek suffer a back injury during the first half.

But the young Chelsea midfielder, called into the England squad last week by coach Gareth Southgate as injuries and withdrawals bit into his squad, had made a major impression against Germany on Friday night and elevated himself into having a chance of making it to the World Cup finals next summer.

“I don’t know why he is at Crystal Palace now – he has to come back!” Willian said.

“A very good player. He is strong, he has quality. He has a great future.”

Loftus-Cheek, who has started only six league games at Chelsea in the last three years, has starred at struggling Palace but cannot be recalled as he is on a year-long loan.

Willian believes this emerging young England will be a threat at the finals in Russia next summer.

“England are a very strong team with young players, quality players,” he said. “It was difficult for us to find spaces because they had a lot of players behind the ball.

“We created four or five chances to score but we didn’t. England always have good and strong players. They can improve a lot.

“This was one of our hardest games. They stayed behind the line of the ball. We did not create much.”

Willian’s call for Loftus-Cheek to be given a chance at Chelsea, comes less than a day after the attacking-midfielder revealed his own frustration at having to be patient at his boyhood club.

He also admitted he has had no contact with Chelsea boss Antonio Conte.

“I think in the last two or three years I’ve had to be patient,” he said.

“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.

“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.

“I’ve had no contact (with Conte). I’m focused at Palace for the season.”