BY RICHARD CAWLEY
Ruben Loftus-Cheek reckons it will be a “win-win” if his displays for Fulham earn him a spot in England’s UEFA Euro 2021 squad.
The 24-year-old Chelsea midfielder has signed for their west London neighbours on a season-long loan.
Lewisham-born Loftus-Cheek tore his Achilles tendon playing for the Blues in their Say No To Anti-Semitism charity match against New England Revolution in May 2019.
He has also been troubled by back problems. His last notable campaign was the 2018-19 one, when he scored 10 goals in 40 appearances.
Loftus-Cheek has played just 107 career games since his senior debut for Chelsea in December 2014 in a Champions League match at Stamford Bridge.
Asked about his switch to Fulham – who are winless and bottom of the Premier League table – he said: “It’s a win-win. I’ve always been a player with ambition. I don’t just want to be at a big club on the bench. I want to be in the team and helping them.
“Hopefully this move will bring out the best in me.”
Loftus-Cheek has won 10 caps for the Three Lions and made Gareth Southgate’s squad for the 2018 World Cup.
England are one of the host cities for Euro 2020 with the tournament taking place between June 11 and July 11.
They are in Group D with Croatia and Czech Republic.
“That’s definitely the aim,” said Loftus-Cheek when asked about the competition. “To be in contention after a year out. It’s been difficult getting back fit.
“I feel really fit. I’m raring to go. The challenge is for me to find form and play my best football. Under Scott Parker I’ve got a good chance to do that. The most important thing for me this season is to play a lot of football.
“I’m really happy to be coming ‘next door’, if you like, to play football. I was willing to go anywhere to find football but it turns out to not be too far at all.”
Fulham were desperately in need of a defensive upgrade and also added in that department before Monday’s deadline for overseas signings and deals between Premier League sides.
Lyon centre-back Joachim Andersen, 24, arrives on loan. The Dane was a club-record signing from Sampdoria in July 2019.
Tosin Adarabioyo, 23, has joined from Manchester City in a deal reportedly costing £2million. He was a standout defensive performer for Blackburn last season.
Fulham resume league action at Sheffield United a week Saturday.
PICTURES THE COPYRIGHT OF FULHAM FC
Please support your local paper by making a donation
Please make cheques payable to “MSI Media Limited” and send by post to South London Press, Unit 112, 160 Bromley Road, Catford, London SE6 2NZ
Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick has encouraged everyone in the country who can afford to do so to buy a newspaper, and told the Downing Street press briefing recently: “A free country needs a free press, and the newspapers of our country are under significant financial pressure”.
So if you have enjoyed reading this story, and if you can afford to do so, we would be so grateful if you can buy our newspaper or make a donation, which will allow us to continue to bring stories like this one to you both in print and online.