Loftus-Cheek content to bide time for Chelsea chance
Ruben Loftus-Cheek is willing to wait patiently for a chance with Chelsea after emerging as a regular in the England squad.
Gareth Southgate's admiration and a lack of alternative midfield options should see the 22-year-old start in Tuesday's friendly against Switzerland.
The international opportunities, which have included three starts at the World Cup, come despite Loftus-Cheek's ongoing battle to win a starting berth for Chelsea.
Maurizio Sarri has granted the academy product just 33 minutes in the Premier League this term after opting to keep him at Stamford Bridge.
"I'd like to have more appearances by now, but it's just the way my journey has gone, and I just have to be patient with it," Loftus-Cheek told Sky Sports.
"I can see it as a positive. I'm playing for England, playing well when I play, and that's without too many appearances so it's still raw in that sense."
Though restricted to six league starts for Chelsea since debuting under Jose Mourinho in 2015, Loftus-Cheek is appreciative of the influence training with "top players" has had on his development.
Sarri says he is very happy with Ruben Loftus-Cheek because he has improved a lot in the last 10 days. He thinks the midfielder will be very important for us when we start playing two games per week. #CHEBOU— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) August 31, 2018
It was during last season's loan stint with Crystal Palace, however, that the imposing box-to-box prospect felt his body became accustomed to the demands of the Premier League.
"I really enjoyed playing and training with [Chelsea's squad], I could feel myself getting better every day and improving, but it got to a point where training wasn't enough and you need the exposure in the Premier League," he said.
"That's when I took the chance to go to Palace, and even when that happened, I thought I could've done it earlier.
"I started really enjoying my football, playing in the Premier League every week, and I felt the benefits."