Ruben Loftus-Cheek pleased to make his first Chelsea start under Maurizio Sarri

Chelsea midfielder Ruben Loftus-Cheek has admitted his pleasure after making his first Blues start under Maurizio Sarri. The England international has not started a game for the Blues since January 2017 but the wait finally came to a close after he featured for 66 minutes of the Europa League clash against MOL Vidi.

In an interview covered by Chelsea’s official website, Loftus-Cheek said that he is content to have made a start for the Blues after a lengthy 18-month period, he said: “It’s good to be back out there. I had a niggle on my back which I had to take carefully, because I’ve had a lot of injuries there. I just had to stay patient with that really. It felt good. I’ll build up my fitness and hopefully I can have a good block of training and football.”

Loftus-Cheek had been out of contention under former boss Antonio Conte last term and this saw him make the switch to Crystal Palace on a season-long loan. During his period at Selhurst Park, his performances were deemed sufficient enough for him to make the jump to the England senior side and he managed to thereafter build his reputation after getting picked by Gareth Southgate for the summer World Cup final.

Since then, he has not quite made the transition into the Blues lineup on a regular basis and he may have to play the waiting time in order to secure a regular role under Sarri. The Italian head coach has picked N’Golo Kante and Jorginho for the midfield duties in every league game this campaign and based on this, Loftus-Cheek may have to tussle with Ross Barkley and Mateo Kovacic for the third midfield slot, though the former appears to have the head start after a couple of standout performances.