Loftus-Cheek content to bide time for Chelsea chance

Impressive on loan at Crystal Palace last season, Ruben Loftus-Cheek says there is plenty of time left in his "raw" Chelsea career.

Chelsea midfielder Ruben Loftus-Cheek.   -  Getty Images

Ruben Loftus-Cheek is willing to wait patiently for a chance with Chelsea after emerging as a regular in the England squad.

Gareth Southgate's admiration and a lack of alternative midfield options should see the 22-year-old start in Tuesday's friendly against Switzerland.

The international opportunities, which have included three starts at the World Cup, come despite Loftus-Cheek's ongoing battle to win a starting berth for Chelsea.

Maurizio Sarri has granted the academy product just 33 minutes in the Premier League this term after opting to keep him at Stamford Bridge.

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"I'd like to have more appearances by now, but it's just the way my journey has gone, and I just have to be patient with it," Loftus-Cheek told Sky Sports. "I can see it as a positive. I'm playing for England, playing well when I play, and that's without too many appearances so it's still raw in that sense."

Though restricted to six league starts for Chelsea since debuting under Jose Mourinho in 2015, Loftus-Cheek is appreciative of the influence training with "top players" has had on his development.

It was during last season's loan stint with Crystal Palace, however, that the imposing box-to-box prospect felt his body became accustomed to the demands of the Premier League.

"I really enjoyed playing and training with [Chelsea's squad], I could feel myself getting better every day and improving, but it got to a point where training wasn't enough and you need the exposure in the Premier League," he said.

"That's when I took the chance to go to Palace, and even when that happened, I thought I could've done it earlier.

"I started really enjoying my football, playing in the Premier League every week, and I felt the benefits."

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