Chelsea’s Ruben Loftus-Cheek is on his way to becoming a superstar and could make the difference for England at the World Cup, according to Crystal Palace assistant boss Ray Lewington.
The 22-year-old spent last season on loan at Selhurst Park, where a fine string of performances earned him a spot on the plane to Russia this summer.
Lewington, who made 85 appearances for Chelsea, believes the youngster is already an incredible talent.
He told talkSPORT: “I love him – I think he’s such a wonderful player.
“He’s a superstar in the making.
“He possesses skills that I haven’t seen in too many English players. He’s wonderfully good in tight areas, he gets out, his acceleration is incredible.”
Loftus-Cheek starred on his Three Lions debut against Germany last November and Lewington backs the midfielder to make an impact at the World Cup.
He added: “If he plays for England in the World Cup, which I think he might, then he could be the difference.
“From what we’ve seen [at Palace], he certainly won’t let England down.
He continued: “The way we judge players now – you’ve got your big pitch players, the people who get involved in everything.
“Then you’ve got players who are great in tight areas, they ask for the ball, they’ve got two or three players around them, and somehow they come out the other side.
“Ruben is one of the few players I’ve seen that actually does both. He gets a box to box, he can run, he’s quick. But give him the ball in a tight area and he can get out of it. He’s got the amazing ability.”
England welcome Nigeria to Wembley on Saturday and Loftus-Cheek will be hoping to make an impression as Gareth Southgate’s World Cup XI begins to take shape.
Mourinho could lose Man Utd favourite as Chelsea identify Hazard replacement
According to the Daily Mail, Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho could lose Anthony Martial this summer, with Chelsea interested in his signature, potentially as a replacement for Eden Hazard whose future is uncertain this summer.
Martial impressed in his debut season for United after joining from AS Monaco in 2015, but he’s fallen out of favour under Jose Mourinho.
The 22-year-old was substituted on or substituted off in 37 of his 45 appearances last season, while still contributing 20 goals, and could be on his way out of Old Trafford.
Since Alexis Sanchez joined United in January, Martial has fallen down the pecking order. He started on the bench in four of United’s eight Champions League games and made only two Premier League starts in the last three months of last season.
Chelsea is looking to capitalise on the situation as they could lose Eden Hazard this summer.
The Belgian international has delayed contract talks as he’s waiting to see what the club will do in terms of recruitment.
The Blues finished outside of the top-four for the second time in three seasons, so there’s a genuine worry he will be on his way out of Stamford Bridge.
The Daily Mail believe Chelsea will try to sign Martial this summer and may have some luck given Mourinho doesn’t seem to want to keep the French international.
His sale would go down badly among supporters as Martial is a real fan-favourite.