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Loftus-Cheek planning Chelsea return before making future call

08:36 BST 11/05/2018
Ruben Loftus-Cheek Crystal Palace
The England international has spent the 2017-18 away from Stamford Bridge on loan at Crystal Palace and is aware that he has a big decision to make

Ruben Loftus-Cheek is aware that he is approaching a career crossroads, but the 22-year-old intends to return to Chelsea this summer before deciding on his future.

A product of the Stamford Bridge academy system, the classy midfielder is held in high regard by those in west London.

He has, however, seen his path to first-team football blocked by big-money additions, with the 2017-18 campaign spent on loan at Premier League rivals Crystal Palace.

Loftus-Cheek has shown what he is capable of when given regular game time, with senior international recognition coming his way with England, but it remains to be seen what the next transfer window has in store for a man Roy Hodgson is eager to snap up on a permanent basis.

Quizzed on his future by the Daily Mail, Loftus-Cheek said: “I haven’t made a decision on that yet but as things stand I plan to be back at Chelsea for pre-season.

“Being at Palace has been good. Roy is a really good coach and a really nice person.

“All the lads like him. But I need to see what happens this summer and right now I’m focused on staying fit and finishing the season well.”

While planning to return to Chelsea to see what the Blues have planned for him, Loftus-Cheek concedes that he should have left his parent club sooner to find the competitive minutes his ongoing development needs.

“I heard it a lot that I was going to be the one to break through [from the academy] but I wish I'd let that go earlier than I did,” he added.

“I realised to keep improving I needed to play more. It wasn't easy not getting many chances but I knew I just had to keep working hard in training and take the opportunities when they came.”

Loftus-Cheek’s current campaign has been broken up by an unfortunate knee injury late in 2017, but he has nursed his body through plenty of problems down the years and believes a World Cup berth with England is there to be shot at after returning to full fitness and form.

He said, having been awarded two outings for the Three Lions against Germany and Brazil in November: “I like to use the power I have.

“I had problems growing up. I had a sudden growth spurt at 15 or 16 and I got a lot of injuries as a result. I gained all this muscle and my bones couldn’t cope. I used to get so tired. 

“But my body's caught up with itself now, and I'm feeling good. And I'd obviously love to be involved this summer. We'll see.”