Chelsea fans have been wishing midfielder Ruben Loftus-Cheek all the best on Twitter after he joined neighbours Fulham on a season-long loan deal on deadline day.

The midfielder has struggled for game time this season under Frank Lampard. His only appearance to date came in the Blues’ Premier League opening-day 3-1 victory at Brighton.

Loftus-Cheek has missed the last five games in all competitions for the club. He has also fallen further down the pecking order following the acquisition of versatile midfielders Hakim Ziyech and Kai Havertz.

The move across the road to the Cottagers provides him with an opportunity to get back on the pitch and regain self-confidence.

The midfielder will relish a new challenge in the fight to help Fulham survive relegation. The move could also see Loftus-Cheek earn a spot on the England plane for the European Championship next year.

Chelsea fans react

Some Chelsea fans were pleasantly surprised by the 24-year-old’s loan move. Club journalist Olivier Harbord said the switch would enable Loftus-Cheek to show off his talents.

Loftus-Cheek’s struggles

Loftus-Cheek’s progress at Chelsea has been beset by injuries. He performed brilliantly in 2018/19, registering 40 appearances in all competitions, scoring ten goals and providing five assists.

He was involved in eight goals from 24 league games (scoring six with two assists) and contributed to seven goals in 11 Europa League matches (four goals and three assists), helping the club to their second title in the competition.

However, he missed the final through injury after rupturing his Achilles tendon in a friendly against New England Revolution.

The injury saw him miss 38 games in 280 days before making his senior return in the club’s 2-1 away win over Aston Villa in June, one of just nine games he managed for the first team last term.

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Fantastic for Fulham

Loftus-Cheek’s move to Fulham will help both parties a great deal, considering the latter hope to maintain their top-flight status and the former requires game time, which he will undoubtedly receive.

His last loan spell saw him join Crystal Palace for the whole of 2017/18. He played 25 times in a spell in which he was also hampered by an ankle injury.

Nevertheless, he scored two goals and assisted five times and was a solid midfield option for the Eagles, who were bottom of the table after four matches.

Fulham are without a point from their first four matches and will require Loftus-Cheek to perform as he did at the Eagles.

He has energy, strength, creativity and pace and should give the Whites a fighting chance going forward and more defensive reassurance. The Athletic journalist Peter Rutzler echoed the sentiments.

England hopes

His promising spell at Palace also saw Loftus-Cheek earn a call-up to the England first team. This led to a place in the 2018 World Cup squad. Should the 24 year-old provide a similar showing at Fulham, he may appear for the Three Lions again.

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