Chelsea boss Frank Lampard admitted Ruben Loftus-Cheek suffered a slight injury set-back but that the midfielder is finally ready to make a big impact in his first team.
The 24-year-old has not featured all season for the first team due to the ruptured Achilles’ tendon he suffered back in May during a post-season friendly.
So far, Loftus-Cheek has managed just 60 minutes in a behind-closed-doors match for the Development Squad against Brentford B during the winter break.
The midfielder was set to play against Arsenal for the U23s on Monday night, however was pulled out of the game due to a ‘small issue’ ahead of the match.
Click to play
Tap to play
The video will start in8Cancel
“He was [supposed to play], but then he had a small issue and we felt it wasn’t right to risk him,” Lampard said. “It was tiny, but it was one of those we wanted to control a bit more so we came away from that.”
However, Loftus-Cheek has recovered in time to be part of the squad who will take on Tottenham Hotspur tomorrow night in a massive Premier League clash.
For the first time under Lampard, Loftus-Cheek is set to be on the bench for the Blues and potentially get his first senior minutes of the campaign.
And Lampard admits he has already seen enough from the England international in training to convince him he can make a serious difference to his squad.
Ruben Loftus-Cheek training for Chelsea (Photo by Darren Walsh/Chelsea FC via Getty Images)
“He still needs match fitness,” Lampard added. “Putting him in the squad is a question of, ‘Can he make an impact if he has to come on?’ I can already see his impact and what he brings.
“I knew it already, but to see the level in training first-hand has been nice. Can he sustain that over 90 minutes at the moment? No. We’ll have to work towards that.