Ruben Loftus-Cheek admits it has been “tough” to go from being a Premier League regular and the high of a World Cup to the Chelsea fringes.
Loftus-Cheek followed up a successful loan spell at Crystal Palace last season by helping England reach the semi-finals in Russia this summer. But this term, the midfielder has played just nine times for the Blues — and only four of those appearances have come in the Premier League.
He has yet to start a league game, and played just 119 Premier League minutes.
Loftus-Cheek said: “Every player goes through tough times. From playing a lot to not playing a lot is tough.
“I have a good family and friends who help me when times are tough which is always good for me. Also I am strong individually to know what I want in the future. I will always believe I will get to where I want if I keep my head down.”
Clubs are queuing up to take Loftus-Cheek on loan and offer him the regular football Chelsea have been unable to provide so far this season.
Palace and German Bundesliga side Schalke are expected to reignite their interest. Bournemouth, West Ham and Newcastle have also entered the chase for the 22-year-old.
Loftus-Cheek said: “I try not to think too much about the future. I can’t think that far ahead [to the end of the season], I can only think about what’s happening right now. It is a difficult period coming up where we have to be fully focused.
“There’s loads of games so loads of rotation, so we all need to be ready physically and mentally for this.
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“My head right now is on playing for Chelsea and learning Sarri’s way.”
Loftus-Cheek is at least making the time he is getting count — his clincher against Fulham on Sunday, after coming on as a 67th minute sub, was his fifth goal in six games.
He said: “When I get the opportunity to play I have got to do my best and to try and make stuff happen but also do what the manager asks me to do defensively. Me scoring goals is looking good at the moment. I look to improve on that — I always try to see myself as a goal scoring midfielder.
“Hopefully I can build on this run.”
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