Chelsea boss Frank Lampard says criticism of Ruben Loftus-Cheek’s performance against Brighton in the club’s opening Premier League game of the season was “very harsh”.
Sky Sports Monday Night Football pundits Jamie Carragher and Gary Neville questioned the 24-year-old’s future at Chelsea after he was given a start in the 3-1 win at Brighton.
Neville described Loftus-Cheek’s performance as “really disappointing” and added that the England midfielder has not “grasped his chance yet”, while Carragher insisted that “he’s had his chances now”.
However, Lampard insists he will be giving the Chelsea academy product plenty of time to find his best form, with Loftus-Cheek yet to experience a solid run of first-team action since rupturing his Achilles in May 2019, which was the latest of a series of injuries that have hindered his development.
“I know Ruben’s story probably second best to how he knows it,” Lampard said. “But Ruben had a terrible injury – an injury that he worked very hard to come back from over the course of last season.
“(He) trained brilliantly to get fit again for the start of the season and I think 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 and 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, then he’s fought back really hard to get where he is and he’s a very, very talented player.”
Source: News update