Thomas Tuchel has challenged Ruben Loftus-Cheek to show more consistency and continue to improve after his performance in the 1-0 Champions League victory over Malmö on Tuesday.
Loftus-Cheek grew into the match after a nervous start and created three chances in central midfield, which helped the Blues secure another three points in Europe and take a big step towards qualifying for the knockout stages.
With the amount of competition for places in Chelsea’s midfield, it seemed unlikely that Loftus-Cheek would get their chance this season, but the 25-year-old has performed well in recent weeks and impressed manager Tuchel.
“I was a little worried for the first 15 minutes if Ruben could find another switch but I heard before it was his first Champions League match since 2015 from the start,” he said after the match.
“Yes, I think we can give the boys credit sometimes that they might be nervous and find their way into the match. I’m glad he fought his way through and in the moment that is symbolic to me he does not disappear or remain invisible.
“He wants to dominate opponents, he doesn’t just want to be part of the game because I think he’s too talented to just be part of the group. He has to use his full potential – that’s the absolute key for him – and if he like in this moment he can become a big part of the squad.
“That’s why I’m very happy and after the first 15 minutes he was involved in many dangerous moments for us. I’m glad he’s pushing himself through these small setbacks and coming up with another strong performance.
“I am very happy with him and the next step is to show consistency and stretch himself because the limit can always be stretched because he has so much potential.”
Chelsea only need one more point to join Group H rivals Juventus in the qualifiers for the last 16.
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