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Former England boss Sam Allardyce has urged Ruben Loftus-Cheek to force a move away from Chelsea if he can’t be assured regular starting shirt with the club.
The 2017-18 campaign proved to be a landmark one for a talented midfielder, with a loan spell at Crystal Palace allowing him to take in 25 appearances across all competitions.
His efforts with the Eagles earned him senior international recognition and a place in Gareth Southgate’s squad for World Cup 2018.
Loftus-Cheek opted to shun a summer switch away from Stamford Bridge, though, and now finds himself back in an all too familiar situation as he struggles for regular minutes in west London.
He failed to make the latest England squad as a result of his lack of game time and the 22-year-old, who is still eligible for the Three Lions’ U21 side, has been urged to push for a permanent move in the next window.
Allardyce told talkSPORT: “I’m disappointed for Loftus-Cheek.
“Chelsea have told him he’s going to be a part of the team this season and, if that is the case, they haven’t lived up to that yet.
“What he did for Crystal Palace last season and for England at the World Cup, I thought this would be a big season for him at Chelsea, but it’s simply not happening.
“If I were Loftus-Cheek I would be battering the door down in January and saying, ‘that’s it, I need to get away’.
“And not on loan, get away from Chelsea properly and build his own career.
“He’s had the taste of playing first-team football at Palace and obviously he loves Chelsea, but it’s not happening for him there.
“He’s got to play. He’s too talented not to play, we’ve all seen that.”
Loftus-Cheek signed a five-year contract with Chelsea in February 2016 which is due to take him through to the summer of 2021.
It appears unlikely, though, that he will see that agreement out if he continues to be nudged down the pecking order by big-money signings and more established stars.