Ruben Loftus-Cheek told to stay and fight for his place after Chelsea hat-trick

Friday, October 26th, 2018 11:20am

By James Gray @jamestingray

Ruben Loftus-Cheek will not necessarily have won a place in Chelsea's starting line-up with his Europa League hat-trick last night but he should not give up on breaking through, says one ex-Blue.

Loftus-Cheek scored twice inside the first eight minutes in a 3-1 thrashing of BATE Borisov at Stamford Bridge last night and completed his maiden hat-trick inside the hour mark.

The 22-year-old has played just 33 minutes of Premier League football under Maurizio Sarri and has been linked with a move away from the club due to lack of first-team football.

However, Chivers believes Loftus-Cheek should target displacing the likes of Mateo Kovacic in the midfield and must show patience in doing so.

"For himself, Ruben Loftus-Cheek obviously did brilliantly in the World Cup and he's come back to a side full of internationals who are at the top of the game," told Ian Stone's Comedy Breakfast (weekdays 6.30am-10.30am).

"If Chelsea have a little slip - God forbid they do have a little slip - I think Sarri would put him in the first team. But at the moment you've just got to wait for your chance.Maurizio Sarri CROPPED"He wants to be playing at the very best club in Europe and Chelsea are one of the very best clubs in Europe. He's got to stay and fight for his place.

"We know how good he is and Chelsea know how good he is. He's gone back to where he started from and left off in the World Cup.

"He put a hell of a performance in last night. He was chasing people down, he was closing them down, he was getting forward, he was winning headers... he's a powerful, powerful, powerful player. 

"We don't want to give him to anyone. We want him to stay at Chelsea."

And Chivers also dismissed the suggestion that the good form of Eden Hazard might be keep Loftus-Cheek out of the team.

"I don't think he would be playing the Eden Hazard role," Chivers added.

"I think he would be in the Kovacic role where he's just getting forward and supporting. Eden Hazard is the best player in Europe at the moment by far. You can't touch him. What a player and what a season he's having.

"But Ruben Loftus-Cheek will be looking to try and oust Kovacic.

"You get that chance and then all of a sudden you're in the driving seat. He just needs to be in the driving seat."

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