The Blues midfielder started against Lyon at Stamford Bridge on Tuesday and he is keen to push his way into his manager’s plans
Ruben Loftus-Cheek has outlined his aim to remain at Chelsea as he looks to earn a place in Maurizio Sarri’s first team for the 2018-19 campaign.
The England international has been with the Blues since he was eight years old and he has long been considered one of the club’s brightest academy stars.
A loan move at Crystal Palace helped Loftus-Cheek force his way into Gareth Southgate’s World Cup squad and there appears to be similarly tough competition at Stamford Bridge ahead of the new season.
The Blues have already signed Jorginho from Napoli while Goal understands Mateo Kovacic is undergoing a medical ahead of completing a loan move from Real Madrid.
There is also the presence of the likes of Cesc Fabregas, N’Golo Kane and Ross Barkley although Loftus-Cheek insists he is focused on staying at the club despite rumours of a loan move away.
“At the moment, I am at Chelsea, my mind is on playing well here and improving here,” the 22-year-old said. “I will always do my best, whoever is the manager. I will play well for myself and improve myself.
“Whoever the manager is, it doesn’t change how I want to play. I will always do my best and that’s just my mindset to improve myself. However that comes across to the manager is what it is. I look to play well for myself first.
“I think that the young boys have been doing really well. I don’t think the young boys will be handed chances just like that, you have to do well in training, you have to keep pushing so we will do that and see where we get to this season.
“There is still a lot for me to work on, there’s a lot of room for improvement so I will carry on working and hopefully I can do well this season. I have been back for just four or five days now, it was tough but I needed that so onwards and upwards. Let’s keep working hard and getting fitter.”
Loftus-Cheek started in the 0-0 draw against Lyon on Tuesday as Sarri rung the changes for his side’s final game of pre-season.
The International Champions Cup match was played with half an eye on the Premier League opener with Huddersfield Town on Saturday, with many of the Blues’ World Cup contingent yet to be close to full fitness.
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And Loftus-Cheek, who was involved as the Three Lions reached the semi-final in Russia, admits he must now focus on club matters after a successful summer with the national side.
“No, it’s not that difficult [to perform at the World Cup]. It’s the same, it’s still football,” he added. “Obviously it was a successful summer with the England team and it was a fantastic moment for the squad. We have got to come back to club football, put that behind us and concentrate on the Premier League.”
Such is Chelsea’s pool of talent, Loftus-Cheek didn’t even make the bench against Man City on Sunday. Loftus-Cheek is hoping to get nearer the first XI at the John Smith’s Stadium against Huddersfield and says that David Wagner’s side shouldn’t be underestimated.
“All the games are three points so we take that as a must win, all the games are hard in the Premier League so we have to be on it.” Loftus-Cheek continued. “We go back on to the training pitch and work at tactics and try to master the way that the boss wants to play. So we go back to it and get ready for Huddersfield.”