Chelsea are planning talks with Ruben Loftus-Cheek, who can only get “stronger, fitter and faster” as he manages a nagging back injury. The Blues are reportedly keen to extend the England international’s deal beyond its current expiry date of 2021 to avoid a repeat of the Callum Hudson-Odoi situation that has seen his contract run down to almost the final 12 months.
Loftus-Cheek impressed in Chelsea’s 1-1 Europa League semi-final first-leg draw at Eintracht Frankfurt on Thursday and, after battling a long-term back problem, he believes he can kick on now. “It’s really good, I’ve been working hard; I haven’t felt my back in a while, so those are really good signs and I hope to build on that,” said Loftus-Cheek.
“I can only get stronger, fitter and faster. So for me I just keep my head down, keep working hard, keep a positive attitude. Hopefully the injury’s calmed down and I can play regularly.” Chelsea spurned several fine chances on Thursday to take a lead back to Stamford Bridge ahead of next week’s second leg, but Loftus-Cheek still relished the experience.
The Blues host Watford in their final home Premier League match of the campaign on Sunday, with the 23-year-old admitting Chelsea must quickly switch focus back into domestic mode. “That was my first competitive semi-final at a high level and I really enjoyed playing in the game, in a fantastic stadium with a fantastic atmosphere,” Loftus-Cheek told Chelsea TV. “That’s what football’s about and hopefully I’ll have many more semi-finals in the future, and a final soon.”