Frank Lampard has confirmed that long term injured midfielder Ruben Loftus-Cheek is finally back in the senior squad today for the first time since May 2019 when he injured his achilles.
This is fantastic news for Chelsea fans who have been dreaming of his return for some time now, needing that extra creative player who can make things happen.
It was thought that the England international would be having a handful of games with the under-23 squad before coming back into the first team fold, and he was expected to pay for them against Arsenal on Monday just gone.
But Lampard has revealed that a small new injury had kept him out of that game and there was no point risking that even more for a development match.
As reported by the Chelsea website, Lampard said:
“He had a small issue so we felt it wasn’t right to risk him in a game at that time.
“It was tiny but it was one of those where we wanted to control him more rather than have him in a 90-minute Under-23s game so we came away from that.”
This will now benefit with Loftus-Cheek being fit and available to be part of the first team squad today, but Lampard has admitted that he is not yet match fit and isn’t ready to start matches, but he has made the decision to add him to the squad anyway.
He explains why…
“He still needs match fitness. By putting him in the squad, we’re hoping he can be an impact if he has to come on because I can already see his abilities out there and what he can bring. I knew them already but to see them first-hand in training has been nice.
“Can he sustain that over 90 minutes at the moment? No, so we’ll have to work towards that but if he’s on the bench then he’ll have to be ready. If something happens in minute one, you’d maybe consider not doing it but if there is a chance for an impact then we know the quality he can bring.”