Former England manager Glenn Hoddle believes Chelsea star Ruben Loftus-Cheek will be named in Gareth Southgate’s squad for the upcoming World Cup in Qatar. Loftus-Cheek has started five of Graham Potter’s eight Premier League games and has only missed one game all season, Thomas Tuchel’s final game in charge against Dinamo Zagreb.
The 26-year-old has demonstrated his quality for the Blues across the pitch, playing right-wing, central midfield and wing-back. The Cobham product’s consistency for the Blues has come at the perfect time with next month’s World Cup vastly approaching. Loftus-Cheek’s chances of being included in the England squad had increased this season, but faces tough competition in his position from Jordan Henderson, Declan Rice, Jude Bellingham and Mason Mount.
Loftus-Cheek was part of the previous Three Lions squad in Russia four years ago, featuring in four games as they reached the semi-final. He has only managed to make one more appearance since, coming in a 3-0 win over USA in the same year. And after becoming one of Potter’s most important players, the Blues ace has been backed to be included in Southgate’s squad, which must be submitted by November 14.
Speaking on BT Sport ahead of the Champions League clash at RB Salzburg, Hoddle praised Loftus-Cheek for his performances. He said:
“I would [like to see him], I think he’s found a position for himself deeper in the pitch. “He isn’t a 10, he went to Fulham on loan, he didn’t score enough goals but I think he’s playing deeper. The main thing for him is the manager believing in him, putting his hat on him saying ‘I believe in you as a player’ and you can see it in his performances, the confidence is there.
“He’s trying to pass quicker, he’s looking to drive with the ball. I just think he knows the manager fancies him and given him a boost of confidence. He’s got the attributes and there’s no pressure on him to score goals, just to be apart of the build- up, I think he’s done exceedingly well and will go in Gareth Southgate’s squad.”