Joe Cole has praised Chelsea midfielder Ruben Loftus-Cheek for his “outstanding” performances as he is “driving the train” for Thomas Tuchel.
Loftus-Cheek came through the ranks at Chelsea but he has been in and out of the team over the past few years.
The midfielder spent the 2020/21 season at Fulham. He was not at his best as they were relegated down to the Championship.
His Chelsea future was in doubt heading into this campaign but he has featured regularly under Tuchel.
Loftus-Cheek has played in Chelsea’s last nine Premier League games. He came off the bench at half time on Wednesday night as the Londoners beat Watford at Vicarage Road.
As quoted by the Daily Mail, Cole has suggested that Loftus-Cheek has been the “pick of the bunch” for Chelsea:
“He’s been outstanding,” Cole said.
“A lot of people raised eyebrows when he stayed there because it didn’t quite work for Ruben when he was at Fulham last year.
“He looked disinterested and looked like he was carrying injury but he’s been outstanding.
“He’s actually been the pick of the bunch for Chelsea. He looks fit, strong, lean.
“That’s the demands he (Tuchel) sets. He’s gone clean slate and (said) this is what’s expected, this is the level.
“You’re either on the train with us or you jump off. Ruben has jumped on the train and he’s driving the train at the moment.”
Elsewhere, Tuchel has admitted that he is unsure “where Niguez goes” after the Watford win. He was brought off for Loftus-Cheek after 45 minutes:
“I don’t know where [Saul Niguez] goes from this performance but he was on a yellow card so we had two options,” said Tuchel on Wednesday night.
“We could have taken Marcos [Alonso] off who also had a yellow card and try Saul as a wing-back. I had this in my mind before the game, if something happened to Marcos.
“But I thought maybe it was not the right match to try things with new positions so it was [subbing] him to change the shape a little bit and have Thiago on the pitch with his organising.
“Having Trevoh [Chalobah] on the number six who is more physical – unfortunately Trevoh injured himself and we ended up with Ruben on the single six. But it was a tactical decision.”
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