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Chelsea midfielder Ruben Loftus-Cheek has so far been unable to reach his best form since returning from an Achilles injury that kept him out of action for more than a year.
Loftus-Cheek was included in the starting lineup to face Brighton on Monday, but had to be subbed off after an hour of play, as he wasn’t able to perform.
Premier League legends Gary Neville and Jamie Carragher slammed Loftus-Cheek for his poor performance and said that he failed to take his opportunity with both hands.
Lampard has now responded to the critics of Loftus-Cheek, insisting that they don’t know the story of the 24-year-old.
He said: “I know Ruben’s story probably second best to how he knows it, but Ruben had a terrible injury, an injury he’s worked very hard to come back from.
“Over the course of last season he was just about fit to start Under-23 games when lockdown came in, he worked incredibly hard in restart and got a start against Aston Villa.
“He was due to start against Bayern in the last game of the season but had a bit of an issue on the day of the game. He trained brilliantly to get fit again for the start of the season and if there is harsh criticism of him in the game against Brighton then it is certainly very harsh because to come back from an injury like he has has been difficult for him.
“He’s put a lot of hours into it and he’s a hugely talented player a great lad so there will be lots more to come from Ruben Loftus-Cheek. Unfortunately the nature of this game is very reactionary and people will say it as they see it, but knowing Ruben’s story behind the scenes he’s fought back really hard to get back where he is and he’s a very, very talented player.”
Loftus-Cheek was having a good season, two years ago under Maurizio Sarri and had become a key player in the Chelsea team, and also won a place in Gareth Southgate’s England team. But his career has taken a toll downwards since getting injured in a charity game against New England Revolution.