Thomas Tuchel is afraid that Ruben Loftus-Cheek may not fulfil his true potential amid fears that he could become engulfed by surplus praise. The 26- year-old midfielder has started to find his feet again at Chelsea following an extended period of time out due to injury.
Loftus-Cheek , who sees his contract at Stamford Bridge expire in 2024, featured 40 times for the Blues last season, directly contributing towards six goals. His impressive displays saw Tuchel grow increasingly fond of the Cobham graduate and grant him more opportunities when stakes are at large.
While the England international performed well in the heart of midfield when called upon, Loftus- Cheek impressed at wing-back too. He has since featured there in each of Chelsea’s opening Premier League fixtures and continued his rich vein of form, escaping injury in the process too.
And, while Tuchel has admitted that he’s impressed, the Blues boss is fearful of overloading Loftus-Cheek with too much praise. Speaking to the official Chelsea website, the German said:
“With Ruben, to be very honest, I always struggle to tell him how good it was because I’m always in fear he will drop one little percent in the next game. “I feel he needs the support and the love of everybody around him,” Tuchel added. “But at the same time he needs to be pushed because sometimes he struggles to show everybody how strong he is.
“He can manage to play games where nobody can see how strong he is. I was so, so happy he finally in pre-season and now in the last two matches, and especially in the 90 minutes against Tottenham, he proved it to everybody. “So now the next step is not to get lost in too much applause and positive feedback, in overthinking, but just to do it again. This is the next step. Just do it again please Ruben, do it again!”
Following Loftus-Cheek’s impressive display at wing-back against Spurs, Tuchel could be inclined to use the Englishman in that role again. Though it must be said that once Reece James was unleashed at wing-back later in the clash, Stamford Bridge staged one of the defender’s all- time showings.