Chelsea News: Rio Ferdinand Tips ‘Top-Tier’ Ruben Loftus-Cheek to Imitate Yaya Toure

Chelsea FC vs. Real Madrid quarter-final Leg One - UEFA Champions League

Ruben Loftus-Cheek has won his place back at Chelsea (Photo: Pedro Salado / Quality Sport Images / Getty Images)

Ruben Loftus-Cheek is ‘top-tier’ and is starting to come out of the potential he has shown from a young age at Chelsea.

It says Rio Ferdinand, who says the midfielder ‘should be’ like Manchester City legend Yaya Toure.

The 26-year-old was considered the next big thing to emerge from Chelsea’s academy for years, but injuries and a host of competition at Stamford Bridge have held him back.

However, Loftus-Cheek has been used in a wingback role in recent matches, giving the midfielder an opportunity to show off his box-to-box qualities and tremendous athleticism.

It gives hope that the midfielder’s long-term future remains in west London, and Ferdinand believes a more defined role could make Loftus-Cheek finally prove his potential.

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Loftus-Cheek thrives in a box-to-box role (Photo by GLYN KIRK / AFP via Getty Images)

‘He should be like Yaya (Toure),’ Ferdinand said.

‘You know, I’ve seen him play in defense this season and he looked super comfortable. The manager starts to trust him and you start to see another Ruben Loftus-Cheek now. You can feel confidence. He was at the top of many of the data lists for this match (against West Ham).

‘I think he’s the one they need to find a defined role for him now on this team and let him go and say, go ahead and do you things. Now grow into (that role) make some demands on him. I want more goals, I want more assists.

“He’s a top player.”

Tuchel admitted last week that he has been overjoyed with Loftus-Cheek’s adaptation to his new role.

But the German says it’s time for the midfielder to ‘trust himself’ and make the most of his potential.

“We talk a lot about this – that he’s still gifted to be here, and it’s still a huge opportunity,” Tuchel said.

‘He has everything he needs, otherwise he would not play and we would not count on him.

‘But he’s heard it here for so many years that he might have heard it too much throughout the academy and all the loans. Everyone told him how good the potential is and how great the future can be, but the future is only there if you live up to it in the present.

‘He has to trust himself. With him, it is definitely not a matter of overconfidence, it is the opposite. He must have confidence in his body physically and also in his ability to do so not once or twice but 10 or 20 times in a row. This is the next step and the next step is actually to do it for the third time in a row because he was excellent at Southampton.

‘It’s small steps, and it may sound like it’s way too small steps given the potential and what’s in there, given the performance he can produce, but it’s actually not. It’s the only way for him to take those small steps, grow in confidence and become the player he can finally become. ‘

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