Lampard: Loftus-Cheek will be fully firing by next season

Frank Lampard says he is “really excited” about the prospect of Ruben Loftus-Cheek being a key player for Chelsea next season.

The England midfielder has been working his way back to full fitness following his recovery from a ruptured Achilles tendon.

And Blues boss Lampard believes Loftus-Cheek will be back to his best in the coming months.

Lampard was asked at a press conference how Loftus-Cheek and Callum Hudson-Odoi might fit in next season given the added competition for places.

Timo Werner and Hakim Ziyech have already been signed and other new faces are expected to arrive.

Lampard is keen for the two homegrown players to make their mark.

Chelsea: Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Callum Hudson-Odoi
Chelsea fans are keen for the academy products to be first-team regulars

“They’re slightly similar cases but different in their own ways,” he said.

“Ruben literally played no games for a long, long time and just before the lockdown period we were trying to find him some games.

“So for Ruben this little period has been great for him to get fit. He is pretty fit, but the reality is next season will be the one, with a mini pre-season, that he’ll really be firing for and I’m really excited for those times.

“Now he’s coming off the bench, he may start some games, he gives us something really different.”

Hudson-Odoi must ‘show input’

Hudson-Odoi, who also suffered a ruptured Achilles tendon last season, faces a real battle to hold down a first-team place.

Even before the new signings enter the equation, Christian Pulisic and Willian have been excellent on the flanks in recent games.

And Lampard has made it clear that Hudson-Odoi will need to work hard.

He said: “With Callum, he’s played more games than Ruben this year.

“I think he really needs to work hard daily in training and do the right things, then when he gets his opportunity really show input in games.

“We see it at the moment with what Christian Pulisic and Willian are doing in the team.

“When Callum comes into the team he has to show something similar.”