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Ruben Loftus-Cheek is special

A guide to one of the most underrated english talent, that turns 22 today

Ruben Loftus-Cheek is special A guide to one of the most underrated english talent, that turns 22 today

2017 was undoubtedly the hype year of the English football youth: the Next Generation was able to win the Under 17 and the Under 20 World Cup, in addition to the European Under 19. Brave choices and attitude to work of the academies carried out in recent years has finally given its first fruits, and the future never seems so promising. Dele Alli and Tammy Abraham, have stolen the covers of the newspapers and English boys' newsfeeds, but next to them a little 'more hidden despite its meter and ninety there is a special player of which there is still little talk: Ruben Loftus-Cheek. Class 1996, after having done all the draw with the youth of Chelsea this summer has left for the first time the Blues on loan at the Crystal Palace, so, without leaving London, will finally play as much as possible and deserve the return to Stamford Bridge. Loftus-Cheek has already fallen in love with talent scouts and regular young football fans since the years spent in Chelsea Youth, for which he was the pillar for years. This formidable re-start against the Stoke City equality, dated September 2014, makes us understand why at the time it was already considered the most interesting player.


2014/2015 was the breakthrough season: the debut in the Champions League at the end of the match against Sporting, then the victory of the Youth League, defeating Shakhtar Donetsk in the final. Loftus-Cheek has gradually begun to become familiar with the first team until, in 2016, the first-ever goal with the Blues has arrived in the FA Cup home match against Scunthorpe.


Last season Chelsea won the Premier League with Antonio Conte on the bench, Loftus-Cheek has found very little space despite a rose not exactly deep, mainly due to the obstinacy of the Italian coach to always play with the same effects and its limits in raising young talents. But in the meantime Ruben won a title with the English Under 21 team at the Tournament of Toulon, scoring a goal in the final against France and winning the title Player of the Tournament

Loftus-Cheek's physicality is extraordinary, it certainly took an advantage over many peers, and its progress has not escaped the insiders. Hoddle compared him to Ballack, Sherwood to a Rolls Royce, even Gullit and Lampard have spoken very well about him publicly in the past. For his long lows, his central progression capable of splitting defenses and his not indifferent tactical intelligence is not a blasphemy compare him to great performers of the role as Pogba and Matic. In the current season he becomes a staple of the team coached by De Boer first and then by Hodgson, providing great performances against Liverpool and Manchester City despite the mediocre contribution of teammates.


It took very little to convince Gareth Southgate to call him a senior national team: in November, Loftus-Cheek then made his debut at Wembley in a friendly against Germany with the number ten on his shoulders, resulting in the Man of the Match according to the elaborations from Whoscored. Then came the first bonuses that made the coaches who have bet on him at the FPL happy: a goal at the Stoke and three precious assists.

The rest is present, unfortunately sad. In the last game of 2017, against Arsenal, Loftus-Cheek has remedied an ankle injury apparently minor, and that instead could force him to surgery and, who knows, to jump the next World Cup. Meanwhile, Chelsea fans are waiting for him with open arms, trying to get a reason for the fact that they decided to bet on Bakayoko, Drinkwater, and Barkley in the median, giving up the verve of their local talent.