Ruben Loftus-Cheek is still working at his best after an Achilles injury that would have ended the careers of players older than him.
At the age of 24, Loftus-Cheek still has his best years ahead of him and he started showing signs of himself when Fulham secured a 1-1 draw with Spurs midweek.
The midfielder is on his second loan from the club, having also plied his trade at Crystal Palace during the 2017/18 season in south-east London as a talent who had emerged on the scene but was in need of ‘regular playing time.
He has made 24 appearances for the Eagles this season, which has been somewhat disturbed by ankle and thigh injuries.
Now on the road to Craven Cottage, he’s made 12 appearances and is in the middle of one of his most consistent streaks for 18 months and certainly his longest streak in a row since his Achilles tendon injury.
Loftus-Cheek tore his Achilles tendon during Chelsea’s Say No to Anti-Semitism charity match against New England Revolution in Boston in May 2019, missing Chelsea’s Europa League final victory over Arsenal in Baku later the same month.
Lampard has previously argued that Loftus-Cheek has a great future ahead of him at Chelsea, but felt he needs to play regular minutes this season to continue to regain his fitness, something Scott Parker acknowledges so far.
The 24-year-old cannot play Chelsea this weekend for Fulham under the terms of his loan and that could be a good thing given the form displayed by the midfielder in the Cottagers draw in the midfield week.
Not that Lampard wasn’t thrilled to see the midfielder, who turns 25 next week, excel.
I thought he was playing well and I was really happy to see that because when Ruben got in shape and was with us I felt like he had been missed last year ”, a Lanpard said.
“And when Ruben got in shape, I was excited because I knew the attributes he had and wanted those attributes at the club.
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“The conversations I had with Ruben earlier in the season were that he didn’t feel as strong as he wanted because of a very serious injury he had. Could he go play games because he felt he needed games and maybe he could get regular games elsewhere.
“Seeing him play recently, I see him fit, fresh and strong. We know he’s an obvious talent so it’s great. If he can keep that hope throughout the season and if he can get back to where he was and more, I will be very happy and he will come back as a player for sure.
Apparently Lampard has big plans for Loftus-Cheek when the midfielder’s loan to Fulham ends at the end of the season. It’s just about finding a place to fit it into Lampard’s abundance in an offensive sense at Stamford Bridge.