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Loftus-Cheek hoping to become Chelsea's next Lampard as he outlines role ambition

12:00 AM GMT+8 23/03/2019
Ruben Loftus-Cheek Chelsea 2018-19
The Blues star has operated as a playmaker for the most part in his senior career to date, but he sees himself becoming a box-to-box midfielder

Ruben Loftus-Cheek believes he can become a box-to-box midfielder for Chelsea and England in the Frank Lampard mould.

At 23 years of age, a Stamford Bridge academy graduate is still working on his game.

He is seen as a creative playmaker for the most part, with his physicality and technical ability considered to make him perfect for a creative post.

Loftus-Cheek is, however, of the opinion that he can become an all-action member of the engine room for club and country, with there the potential to follow in the footsteps of iconic figures such as Lampard.

The Blues star told FourFourTwo of the positional plans for his future: “I’ve always considered myself to be a No.8 in midfield, but I can play in other positions.

“It’s good that I’m so versatile because I just love to play football and don’t mind where.

“Long term, though, I see myself as a box-to-box midfielder.”

For now, Loftus-Cheek is still trying to prove his worth at Chelsea.

He has seen regular game time around untimely knocks this season, with continental competition providing him with the most minutes.

“The Europa League is certainly where I’ve got my opportunities since the start of the season,” added Loftus-Cheek.

“It’s a good competition – European football is a test and something we want to do well in.

“I’ve got more chances to play in the Premier League off the back of it as well. We want to go all the way and lift the trophy in May.”

Quizzed on whether European football has been a steep learning curve, Loftus-Cheek said: “To be honest, it’s not too different – it’s still a high level of football and playing under the lights at Stamford Bridge is always a great feeling.

“The one thing I’d say about playing in the Europa League is you have to be mentally strong.

“Travelling to grounds with hostile atmospheres and trying to win, grinding it out on pitches which may not be the best, is tough, so you have to be switched on.”

Loftus-Cheek has helped Chelsea through to the quarter-finals of the 2018-19 Europa League, recording a first senior hat-trick along the way.

A meeting with Slavia Prague is next on the agenda for the Blues and success in the competition could present Maurizio Sarri’s side – who sit sixth in the Premier League – with an alternative route into the Champions League for next season.

Loftus-Cheek said of the emphasis being placed on it: “It’s obviously not the Champions League, but it’s still a big competition and I think we’re good enough to win it.

“Playing European football is something you look forward to every season.”