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Ruben Loftus-Cheek has been highly rated for a long time since graduating from the Chelsea academy, but now 22, the young midfielder is yet to break into the Chelsea first team.

Although Loftus-Cheek had a good loan spell at Crystal Palace last year and even made it to the World Cup in Russia, Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri has barely used him, as he’s been handed just two starts all season – in the Europa League.

Loftus-Cheek barely makes the bench for league games and is behind Mateo Kovacic and Ross Barkley in the pecking order, but after his hat-trick heroics against BATE Borisov, the Chelsea midfielder has shown Sarri that he’s up for the big stage.

Loftus-Cheek said after the match: “It feels really good, the target is to win the group.

“It’s up there, it’s my first hat-trick in a while, even since playing for the youth team.

“It feels nice. Any player will tell you it’s nice to score a hat-trick and it feels good, I’ll get the ball signed and put in a glass box. Hopefully there are many more to come.

“The first thing is to train well and as hard as I can. Keep the good habits, eat well and sleep well and if I keep doing that the chances will come.”

However, Owen Hargreaves disagrees with Loftus-Cheek and thinks it’s time for him to start playing games now.

He told his fellow pundits: “He said all the right things in that interview – that he needs to train well, sleep well and eat well.

“But actually the most important thing he has to do is play football. He needs to play games.

“Training is… he’s past that point. He’s 22. This hat-trick… in fact, forget the goals… his overall performance was exceptional.

“He’s almost the perfect midfield player. Before he didn’t really have a position.

“He didn’t stop anyone like (N’Golo) Kante, he didn’t score goals from midfield like (Frank) Lampard, but today he got three.

“If Loftus-Cheek can add this to his game he’s virtually like Dele Alli… he’s an unstoppable force.

“But this is the first time we’ve seen it this clearly. He’s been on everybody’s lips for a very long time.

“This today was a dominant performance and this could turn his career around.”

About the Author

Chelsea is more than just a football club to me; it's a passion I share, and my affinity with the Chelsea badge is one that will last forever. As far as watching my favourite team is concerned, I'd rather miss a meal than miss a Chelsea game.