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Chelsea legend Dennis Wise wants Ruben Loftus-Cheek to remain at Chelsea and fight for his place after reaching another level under Maurizio Sarri.

Loftus-Cheek has scored six goals for Chelsea in all competitions this season.

When asked whether Loftus-Cheek should consider moving away on loan in January, Wise told Standard Sport: “No, I don’t think he should.

“He [Sarri] has played him a number of times. He’s got competition for places but why would Loftus-Cheek want to go on loan?

“I’ll pick Crystal Palace just because he went there on loan. Why would you want to go there on loan, to a team where you’ll play a lot of games but you’ll be in a battle down the bottom when you can play in a team full of top international players, fighting to win trophies and trying to get in the Champions League?

“I think he’s improved so much. This is a process for him and I think it’s important he stays at Chelsea and he fights. He’s very close to being one of the players who could take one of those shirts and stay in there and he has to carry that on until the end of the season.

“He’s got the opportunity to do it now that he’s thought of in a different way than when he went out on loan. Maurizio said it: he won’t go out on loan. He’s stepped up to another level. He will be the one fighting for that offensive spot.”

Chelsea are reportedly exploring the possibility of signing Mateo Kovacic on a permanent basis next summer but Wise does not think signing Kovacic permanently will negatively impact Loftus-Cheek’s chances of playing more.

“You have competition, you have Ross Barkley. They are all fighting. Kovacic can play a little bit deeper, he can play forward. No, I don’t think it will affect him,” Wise added.

“Football is about competition, and not only against opposition but playing in front of your teammates. And Loftus-Cheek must compete wherever he goes. He has got to a different level. Therefore, he needs to stay at Chelsea and go to the next level where he is the main person on that teamsheet.”

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