Maurizio Sarri
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Maurizio Sarri has praised Ruben Loftus-Cheek following his hat-trick against BATE, but is still targeting improvement from the England international.

Loftus-Cheek is an incredibly talented player and proved it while out on-loan with Crystal Palace last time around. His lack of action on the pitch for Chelsea this season is not a fair reflection of his quality.

Sarri is blessed with a wealth of quality in midfield. With Jorginho and N’Golo Kante sure starters in the side, Loftus-Cheek is left to battle it out with Mateo Kovacic and Ross Barkley for the third midfield position.

Ruben Loftus Cheek
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Loftus-Cheek make his case for occupying that role against Burnley at the weekend with his performance against BATE, and Sarri is impressed with what he’s seen from the youngster.

Our manager is quoted by talkSPORT saying:

“He played very well. I think in the beginning of the season, I thought he was really a very good player. Now I think the same, but maybe he has also adapted to my football.”

“He is improving. He needs to improve defensively, but not only Loftus. At this moment we have four midfielders for two positions.”

“Three of them with the same characteristics. Only [N’Golo] Kante is a defensive midfielder. It’s very difficult for me to put in the starting XI two so offensive midfielders at the same time.”

Loftus-Cheek is 22-years-old, and though there is certainly room for improvement, time is on his side and there is plenty of talent for Sarri to work with. We’re incredibly excited to see what the future holds for this young man.

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Brent Wherry

So start him as a false 9.