Former Chelsea midfielder Michael Essien has urged highly-rated Blues midfielder Ruben Loftus-Cheek to stay at Stamford Bridge and fight for a place in the first-team.
Loftus-Cheek has long been heralded as one of the best young players to come out of Chelsea’s youth academy in recent years and his impressive performances on loan at Crystal Palace last season even saw him force his way into Gareth Southgate’s England squad for the World Cup in Russia last summer.
However, the 22-year-old has struggled for game time so far this season under Maurizio Sarri, leading to speculation that he may leave Chelsea during the January transfer window.
Essien is clearly a fan of Loftus-Cheek though and has advised the talented youngster to keep working hard and wait for his chance to stake his claim.
“Well, I mean he has to stay,” Essien told the Evening Standard
“When you play for a club like Chelsea, you know the competition will always be there and you have to work hard to win your position.
“As you said, they have many midfielders but it’s all down to him. He’s such a good boy and he works hard.
“Maybe he might want to play more first-team football and games but he has to stay and work hard and you never know – football changes very quickly and he might get his chance.”