Before Chelsea’s crucial game for a spot in the top 4 against Fulham, Thomas Tuchel was at the pre-match conference. He was there asked about his views on Chelsea’s loanee at Fulham, Ruben Loftus-Cheek. The German was full of praises for the Englishman and even compared him to one of Chelsea’s greatest, Michael Ballack.
Ruben Loftus-Cheek was rising through Chelsea ranks very swiftly and was one of the best players in Maurizio Sarri’s Europa League winning squad. His link-up play with Eden Hazard and the ability to play as a comfortable No.8 made him one of the fan favorites. However, he suffered an Achilles injury that did sideline him for a long period of time. He then was not at his best and also was not able to make a cut into Chelsea’s starting XI and thus moved on loan to Fulham for the 2020-21 season. When Tuchel was asked about his opinion on the Englishman, he said, “I was quite a fan of him when he was younger. He reminded me of Michael Ballack in his style of play, his movements.”
Michael Ballack has been one of the greatest German players and his career at Chelsea was full of honors as he has a Premier League title, 3 FA Cups, and the EFL Cup under his name. Ballack had around 50 goal contributions for the London side and as of December 2012, Ballack had the lowest loss record of any player with more than 100 appearances in the Premier League, losing just 10 of his 105 appearances.
Ruben Loftus-Cheek, who is a perfect box to box midfielder had been a very renowned name during his youth career. He has had offers for a move out of the club many times during his career but the Englishman remains committed to his club. Thomas Tuchel also mentioned, “There were links with him moving to Germany. We are well aware of his talent.”
Loftus-Cheek’s career by many is seen not too bright at Chelsea as the 25-year-old has not been at his best since his return from injury. Even at Fulham, he has not fully hit the ground running. When Tuchel was asked about what he has in mind for the Englishman’s future, he stated, “It is not decided yet. I don’t know why things have not worked out as he wished but now he is doing good, leaving his footprints there [at Fulham] – I cannot judge him from TV and hearsay, I love to work with players then to give my opinion. No decision has been made [on his future] just yet.”
This certainly comes as a relief for Loftus-Cheek, who can now prove his worth in the pre-season training and claim a spot back into the Chelsea squad and compete for the highest honors in English football.