Hard to accommodate Loftus-Cheek in first team - Sarri

Eloise Marshall
October 26, 2018

Ruben Loftus-Cheek is happy with "good, healthy competition" at Chelsea and says manager Maurizio Sarri is improving him.

Loftus-Cheek bagged a hat-trick in Chelsea's 3-1 win over BATE Borisov in Thursday's Europa League tie, but opportunities have been few and far between for the midfielder.

Sarri is particularly spoilt for choice in midfield, where Jorginho and N'Golo Kante appear entrenched as starters with a rejuvenated Ross Barkley, Mateo Kovacic and Loftus-Cheek all competing for the third and final spot.

Sarri's men will now switch attention to remaining unbeaten in the Premier League when they visit Burnley on Sunday.

Loftus-Cheek revealed Sarri was constantly reminding him of his positioning during his match-winning performance.

'If I'm him, I'm hoping he takes me off before the 90 minutes is up, ' Hoddle told BT Sport after the game.

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"I fear for the lad". I knew then that this season was going to be my time, and that I would be more like a new signing this summer than I was in January, just because of where I was at physically.

"For example Jorginho we need to rest now, because he played 90 minutes the two matches with the global team (Italy), and then he played for 100 minutes in the last match".

"That's why we've been doing so well because everyone wants to do well in training - training is so sharp".

Those two goals, coming from Loftus-Cheek's first on-target shots of the season, ensured that the home side were in complete control right from the off.

'Any player will tell you it's nice to score a hat-trick. He's MORE than good enough to start for us NOW.

'It's very hard for me to put in the starting XI two so offensive midfielders at the same time. I need an improvement in the defensive phase.

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