(Reuters) – Midfielder Ruben Loftus-Cheek has the qualities to play more regularly for Chelsea in the Premier League and must continue improving to secure a spot in the starting XI, team mate N’Golo Kante has said.
Loftus-Cheek spent last season on loan at Crystal Palace and his impressive displays earned a call-up to England’s World Cup squad. The 22-year-old remained at Stamford Bridge this season and is keen to break into manager Maurizio Sarri’s first team.
“When I came to Chelsea Ruben was already here and for sure he is a good player. Now he’s in the England squad. He did well last season at Crystal Palace and I think he’s ready to play,” France’s World Cup winner Kante told Sky Sports.
“He’s played some good games and now it’s the manager’s decision… he needs to keep working, to keep improving and I hope it will come at the right time.”
Loftus-Cheek has played a little over 30 minutes in two substitute appearances this season.
Kante, who was in France’s second division as recently as 2013 before winning league titles at Leicester City and Chelsea, said he was well aware of the struggles young players face.
“Everybody has difficulty at some point in their careers but we need to use this moment to build ourselves as a player and learn from that,” Kante added.
“I had my difficulty when I was younger but now I cannot say I didn’t deserve that… the only thing is to use it as a thing to learn and improve.”
Chelsea, who have made a perfect start to the season, host promoted Cardiff City on Saturday.
(Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru; editing by Amlan Chakraborty)