Ruben Loftus-Cheek has been playing with back injury all season, Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri reveals
Ruben Loftus-Cheek is finally free of a back injury which has hindered him all season, Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri has revealed.
The Blues academy graduate played a starring role during the club’s impressive 3-0 victory over Brighton on Wednesday night.
After turning a clever ball round the corner for Eden Hazard’s strike, Loftus-Cheek bent a spectacular effort into the top corner for his eighth goal of the season.
However, the Englishman’s breakthrough season at Stamford Bridge has been hindered by a persistent back problem.
He left the field in tears after his back flared up against Nottingham Forest in January and withdrew from the most recent England squad, but now Sarri reveals the midfielder is playing free from pain.
The Italian told talkSPORT: “Loftus-Cheek, for the first time this season, is without the problem in his back.
“So now he is able to train every day and now he’s doing very well. The potential of Loftus-Cheek is very high.
LATEST FOOTBALL NEWS
“He played a very important match, he scored a wonderful goal, and then at the end he had a little problem with his hamstring. I think it’s only cramp.”
There was also a start for 18-year-old sensation Callum Hudson Odoi, as Sarri finally answered the prayers of the Stamford Bridge faithful.
The winger provided the assist for Olivier Giroud’s opening goal and looked threatening throughout – and Sarri was particularly impressed with his defensive contribution.
“I was sure about Callum,” he added. “As I said in the press conference, Callum improved during the season, especially tactically.
“It was the first time in the Premier League, but Callum played 20 matches with us, so I was sure about his performance and he played very well.
“I am really happy with him because he defended really well – and for us it’s really important to have an offensive player able to defend.
“He has to defend because we have three offensive players, plus Loftus-Cheek, so we cannot defend with six. Callum improved a lot during the season in this work.
“Not only Callum and Ruben, today I saw an impressive performance by [Andreas] Christensen.”
Source: SportsLatest TS