Former Chelsea midfielder Michael Ballack believes Ruben Loftus-Cheek has a big advantage over other midfielders at Chelsea because he has the body to impose himself on the pitch.
Loftus-Cheek has scored four goals in six games for Chelsea and Ballack wants the 22-year-old to develop his goalscoring ability because that’s the difference between really good midfielders and world class midfielders.
“I say use your strength. His size is a natural gift and he has used it in the past,” Ballack told Goal.
“He just scored three goals and that has a big impact. He should work hard and go in that direction. He has been compared to me, but comparisons can sometimes put pressure on.
“It is the same if people compare him with another ex-player, he has to find his own way. As a player, he is able to play a good role in a big team. It is interesting and nice to hear [that he was told to copy my game].
“He has a big advantage because he has the body to impose himself. He has the personality when he steps on the pitch, people recognise him and he can naturally intimidate his opponents. He should use that, not be overconfident but use his body to also intimidate the opposition players.
“He needs to find a way to be a consistent member of the squad and to make that next step now. It is really important at a really good club to be in the first XI and develop himself week-in, week-out on the pitch, not just to come in as a sub. Of course, it will be really difficult but that should be his target now in the near future – be in the first XI.
“Even if you are happy at the club, you need to ask for it. His type of player, midfielders who drive in the box, are really rare. There’s lots of players around who can read the game well and are technically brilliant and defensively orientated but to be able to score in the box sets you apart.
“Chelsea have had fantastic players like that, the best example is [Frank] Lampard. That’s something he should develop and that’s a difference between really good players and world class players in that position.”