One of Stamford Bridge’s favorite sons has urged one of our (hopefully) future favorite sons to stay and fight for his place. The former is Michael Essien; the latter, Ruben Loftus-Cheek. Two midfielders who combined or combine physical attributes with technical skill like few others. At least in theory.
Essien was such a force of nature that his own knees couldn’t handle him. Loftus-Cheek has had a dodgy back most of his young career, among other ailments. Essien certainly knows what it’s like to battle through such adversities, while also dealing with the constant competition for places in the team. And he believes in Ruben.
“He has to stay. 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. [Chelsea] 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.”
-Michael Essien; source: Evening Standard
Trouble is of course that Loftus-Cheek cannot, and probably should not, base his career on what might happen. Of course he has to work hard, but he probably also needs a bit more stable situation at this point. He knows the value of playing regularly. We can give that to him here; it’s not too late, despite the increasing rumors of a January exit.
Thanks in part to injuries, RLC has started just one match this season. He was removed from consideration for international duty however to complete his rehab and recovery, so he should be available for selection in matches coming up twice a week, as usual. All we have to do is select him.