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EPL: Essien sends strong message to Loftus-Cheek over Sarri’s Chelsea starting XI





Former Chelsea star, Michael Essien has advised midfielder, Ruben Loftus-Cheek to remain at Stamford Bridge and fight for his place under manager, Maurizio Sarri’s starting XI this season.

Loftus-Cheek has not been a regular starter for Sarri’s side this campaign.

The England international featured twice as a substitute in the club’s first four games of the new Premier League season.

The arrival of midfielders, Jorginho and Mateo Kovacic to Chelsea in the summer, have served to massively increase the competition for places in the middle of the pack, with N’Golo Kante and Fabregas also vying for a regular spot.

Loftus-Cheek is at the moment way down in the pecking order at the club despite enjoying an impressive spell on loan at Crystal Palace last year which earned him a place in England’s 2018 FIFA World Cup squad in the summer.

But Essien believes Loftus-Cheek should remain at the West London club and work harder.

“Well, I mean he [Loftus-Cheek] has to stay,” Essien told Standard Sport.

“When you play for a club like Chelsea, you know the competition will always be there and you have to work hard to win your position.

“As you said, they have many midfielders but it’s all down to him. He’s such a good boy and he works hard.

“Maybe he might want to play more first-team football and games but he has to stay and work hard and you never know – football changes very quickly and he might get his chance.”

Loftus-Cheek will hope to play for Chelsea when they take on Manchester United at home this weekend in the Premier League.

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Chuka (Webby) Aniemeka

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