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Ruben Loftus-Cheek believes the benefits of his loan spell at Crystal Palace are now paying off with his impressive performances for Chelsea this season.

Loftus-Cheek believes he’s a more mature player after his loan spell at Crystal Palace.

The 22-year-old midfielder is now developing into an integral member of Maurizio Sarri’s Chelsea squad.

“After a season at Palace I felt I really matured, I got to see what the Premier League was like playing week-in, week out,” Loftus-Cheek told Chelsea TV.

“At Palace we had to fight a lot. I really think I learned the way to fight and grind out games.

“After the World Cup I was ready to come back and fight for a place at Chelsea.

“The start of the season was difficult but I’m getting chances now and I’m just looking to do the best I can.”

Loftus-Cheek impressed playing in a more advanced role in Chelsea’s 1-0 Carabao Cup quarter-final win over Bournemouth on Wednesday night before dropping into midfield following the introduction of Eden Hazard.

The 22-year-old revealed he’s happy to play anywhere but insists his preference is to play in midfield.

Loftus-Cheek said: “I see myself as a midfielder. That’s where I want to be as I take my career forward. Right now I’m happy to play anywhere, right wing, left wing. I covered a lot of positions (against Bournemouth).

“I’m happy to do it wherever. And I’ll give it my best. I think I’m effective if it’s coming from deep or getting it higher up and making combinations and getting shots off.”

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