The Cottagers boss has singled the midfielder out for praise ahead of his side’s Premier League clash with Crystal Palace
Ruben Loftus-Cheek has rebuilt his career at Fulham according to Scott Parker, who says the Chelsea loanee was “weary and down” when he first arrived at Craven Cottage.
Loftus-Cheek is currently playing a key role in Fulham’s Premier League survival bid, having been snapped up on a season-long loan in October.
Parker has been delighted with the 25-year-old’s contribution and thinks the midfielder has rediscovered his best form after losing his confidence at Stamford Bridge.
What was said?
The Fulham boss talked up Loftus-Cheek’s talents ahead of their meeting with Crystal Palace on Sunday, telling reporters: “From when he first came into the building you could sense someone a little bit weary and someone who was a little bit down.
“He had been out for an extremely long time and had not played a lot of football. I’ve just seen someone grow, grow and grow into the player who we’ve all seen.
“There’s still loads to come but this is a player at this moment in time who, given moments in games, can take the game by the scruff of the neck and be that powerful, technically-gifted midfield player.
“I think he’s grown in confidence. I think the environment and the work he’s done in this short space of time has been a credit to him. I’ve been very, very pleased with him and he’s going in the right direction.”
Loftus-Cheek’s record at Fulham
Loftus-Cheek has racked up 22 appearances for Fulham, with 21 of those coming in the Premier League.
The England international has only scored once for the Cottagers and has yet to provide an assist, but his overall performances have helped the west London club close the gap on 17th place since the turn of the year.
The bigger picture
Fulham reportedly have the option to buy Loftus-Cheek outright for £9 million ($12.5m) in the summer, with Chelsea willing to sanction their academy graduate’s departure despite the fact he is still tied to the Blues until 2024.
If the playmaker continues to perform at a high level between now and the end of the season the Cottagers could bring him into their books, but much could depend on whether or not they end up being relegated.
Fulham will be facing huge financial losses if they drop back down to the Championship, meaning Loftus-Cheek could still end up back at Chelsea later in the year.