Michael Ballack
Ben Radford/Getty Images

Former England manager Roy Hodgson has claimed that Chelsea youngster Ruben Loftus-Cheek is better than Michael Ballack in his prime.

Loftus-Cheek’s meteoric rise to the summit of English football happened virtually overnight. He’s been highly-rated by everyone at Chelsea for several years, but the excitement around him was very much contained to Stamford Bridge.

It’s not anymore. Following a stellar campaign out on-loan at Crystal Palace, Loftus-Cheek forced his way into the thinking of England boss Gareth Southgate.

He was subsequently included in The Three Lions’ squad which headed to the World Cup in Russia, where he’s set to be handed his first competitive start for his country against Panama on Sunday.

Roy Hodgson, who took Loftus-Cheek under his wing at Selhurst Park last term, has been singing the 22-year-old’s praises. Hodsgon has given Loftus-Cheek an extraordinary compliment, claiming that he’s a more complete player than Michael Ballack.

Hodgson is quoted by the Daily Mail saying:

“I’d say he goes by people more than Ballack did. But I think he’s got Ballack’s power and his pace and his strength — he’s definitely got that.”

“But he’s maybe got more strings to his bow than even Ballack had. That’s a bold thing to say, I know, but he’s so good at going past people. He’s got that deceptive turn of pace.”

Ballack is one of the greatest midfielders ever to play the game – that’s quite the compliment! What do you think, Blues?

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments