Thomas Tuchel told he may have discovered his latest Chelsea undroppable after Southampton win

Ruben Loftus-Cheek has been flooded with plaudits following his performance in Chelsea’s 3-1 win over Southampton on Saturday.

The 25-year-old midfielder was handed his first league start of the season by Thomas Tuchel and he did not waste his chance, playing with confidence and looking to drive the ball forward at every opportunity.

Once viewed as the future of Chelsea’s midfield following a breakthrough loan spell at Crystal Palace and then a full and successful year at Stamford Bridge, Loftus-Cheek’s career derailed after suffering an Achilles injury in May 2019.

After a year on the sidelines, followed by a loan spell at Fulham in the last campaign, many thought that the Englishman had no chance of breaking back through into a Champions League-winning side.

But, as his performance proved v Southampton, Loftus-Cheek looks to be back to his very best, setting up Trevor Chalobah for the opening goal with a lovely, flicked header from a corner.

And his efforts did not go unnoticed with former Chelsea winger, turned pundit Pat Nevin keen to praise the midfielder as one of his best showings – meaning Tuchel could have discovered his latest ‘undroppable’ going into the international break.

Talking on BBC Radio 5 Live, Nevin said: “That is Ruben Loftus-Cheek’s best 45 minutes for Chelsea ever!”

Tuchel himself was also running out of superlatives to describe Loftus-Cheek when speaking in his post-match press conference

“Most important is that I feel Ruben and Ross [Barkley] at the moment feel no pressure,” he said. “They are happy to have these chances, to feel the support, and perhaps six weeks ago they couldn’t have imagined they were in the situation to get real minutes, important minutes.

“So, they can help us because they have this kind of positive spirit, and they didn’t feel the pressure. In the last two games, of course, we lost, and we felt something was lacking.

“So, we decided to put Ruben in because we were aware of their [Southampton’s] high pressing in midfield but we wanted to go through midfield. Ruben and Kova [Mateo Kovacic] can not only pass but drive with the ball to escape the press. That is the reason we picked them.”

Perhaps the most delighted reaction to Loftus-Cheek’s performance, came from the Chelsea fans, who were ecstatic to see him start and were even happier after the game.

Here is the best reaction from Twitter:

@kayodesuberu: Loftus Cheek has given us different dimensions to our game. Physicality, powerful drive, and intensity whenever he plays. Thank God Tuchel allowed him to stay. 8/10 performance all the time.

@lifeofsanju: Ruben Loftus-Cheek back to balling.

@TheChelseaGuy: Ruben Loftus-Cheek with a huge statement in that game. Man was class.

@USACFC_: Loftus-Cheek has looked good. He now has my confidence. His ability to drive the ball forward and be a dangerous midfield player is nice to see.

@CFC_Hammer: Loftus-Cheek is back in business. Great performance.

The praise coming Loftus-Cheek’s way feels like a long time coming, and supporters will hope the midfielder now becomes a regular fixture in Tuchel’s 11 moving forward.

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