Thomas Tuchel backs Ruben Loftus-Cheek to finally realise Chelsea potential after Wembley heroics

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 (The FA via Getty Images)
(The FA via Getty Images)

Thomas Tuchel was full of praise for Ruben Loftus-Cheek following the Chelsea midfielder’s impressive display against Crystal Palace in the FA Cup semi-final on Sunday.

While the 26-year-old was dropped from the starting lineup as Tuchel made three changes to the team who beat Real Madrid on the night in the Champions League on Tuesday, an early injury to Mateo Kovacic saw Loftus-Cheek introduced.

It was the England midfielder - who spent a season on loan at Selhurst Park before the 2018 World Cup - who broke the deadlock after a sluggish Chelsea performance, when his well-taken volley was deflected past Jack Butland.

In total, Loftus-Cheek has made 32 appearances across all competitions this season, filling a number of different roles and underlining his importance during a season in which he looked to have little chance of a regular starting berth following the loan signing of Saul Niguez.

Speaking after the Wembley win, Tuchel told ITV Sport: “He was very, very strong in matches against Southampton and Real Madrid, he would have deserved to start but we expected a back four. We knew Ruben would have a big impact off the bench. I am very happy.

“He hid his talent and potential for a long time in his career. He is capable of producing performances that everyone sees on the pitch. For him it is step by step that he continues to grow in his confidence.”

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