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Essien advises frustrated Loftus-Cheek on Chelsea future

19:31 BST 17/10/2018
Ruben Loftus-Cheek Chelsea 2018-19
The Ghanaian has encouraged the young midfielder not to give up hopes of becoming a first-team regular at Stamford Bridge

Chelsea legend Michael Essien has urged out-of-favour Ruben Loftus-Cheek to stay and fight for his place at Stamford Bridge.

The 22-year-old, who starred for England at the summer World Cup in Russia, has been reduced to a peripheral figure this season, having made only two league appearances - both substitute outings - for The Blues so far this campaign.

It has been reported that the frustrated midfielder is looking for a way out of the club, with Arsenal mentioned among his possible destinations.

"Well, I mean he [Loftus-Cheek] has to stay," Essien, who won the Champions League with the London-based club in 2012, said, according to the Evening Standard.

"When you play for a club like Chelsea, you know the competition will always be there and you have to work hard to win your position.

"As you said, they have many midfielders but it’s all down to him. He’s such a good boy and he works hard.

"Maybe he might want to play more first-team football and games but he has to stay and work hard and you never know – football changes very quickly and he might get his chance."

Outside the Premier League, Loftus-Cheek has one other season appearance for Maurizio Sarri's outfit, having started the Europa League clash with Hungarian side MOL Vidi earlier this month.

Last season, the Chelsea youth product was forced to pursue a loan move to Crystal Palace in his bid for more game time.

The transfer paid off, as his run of games - and good performances - at Selhurst Park earned him a place in England's squad for the World Cup.