Thomas Tuchel backs Ruben Loftus-Cheek to finally realize Chelsea potential after Wembley exploits

While the 26-year-old was dropped from the starting line-up as Tuchel made three changes to the squad that beat Real Madrid on Tuesday night’s Champions League, an early injury to Mateo Kovacic saw Loftus-Cheek introduced.

It was the England midfielder – who spent a season on loan at Selhurst Park ahead of the 2018 World Cup – who broke the deadlock after a sluggish performance at Chelsea, when his well-taken volley was deflected past Jack Butland .

In total, Loftus-Cheek has made 32 appearances in all competitions this season, filling a number of different roles and underscoring his importance in a season in which he looked unlikely to secure a berth. regular start after signing Saul Niguez on loan.

Speaking after the Wembley win, Tuchel told ITV Sport: “He was very, very strong in the games against Southampton and Real Madrid, he deserved to start but we expected a four back. We knew that Ruben would have a big impact on the bench. I’m very happy.

“He hid his talent and potential for a long time in his career. He is capable of producing performances that everyone sees on the pitch. For him, it’s step by step that he continues to grow in his confidence.

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