Thomas Tuchel has challenged Ruben Loftus-Cheek to fulfil his potential at Chelsea following the midfielder’s impressive performance against Malmo.
Loftus-Cheek was named in the Chelsea starting side in a Champions League fixture for the first time in six years against the Swedish side, with the 25-year-old producing a solid performance as the holders edged closer towards the knockout stages with a 1-0 win.
The midfielder has struggled to fulfil his potential since emerging from the club’s academy ranks, making just 17 league starts since his debut in 2014/15 and since spending loan spells at both Crystal Palace and Fulham.
Having broken into the England squad and featured at the 2018 World Cup before a long-term injury setback, Tuchel is hopeful that Loftus-Cheek is now on the road to reaching his best level after integrating the star back into the set-up at Stamford Bridge.
“I was a bit worried in the first 15 minutes if Ruben can find another gear but I heard before it was his first Champions League match since 2015 from the start,” Tuchel said.
“Yeah, I think we can give the boys credit sometimes to be maybe nervous and find their way into the match.
I am happy he fought his way through and in the moment it is symbolic for me he does not disappear or stay invisible.
“He wants to dominate opponents, he wants not to just be a part of the game because I think he is too talented to just be a part of the group.
He needs to use his full potential – that is the absolute key for him – and if he does like in this moment he can be a big part of the squad.
“That is why I am very happy and after the first 15 minutes he was involved in a lot of dangerous moments for us.
I am happy he pushes himself through these little downs and comes up with another strong performance.
“I am very happy with him and the next step is to show consistency and push himself because the limit can constantly be pushed because he has so much potential.”