Hodgson keen to take Loftus-Cheek back to Palace

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Crystal Palace boss Roy Hodgson has reiterated that would be interested in taking Ruben Loftus-Cheek back to the club on loan should he be made available by Chelsea in January.

The England midfielder has made just two substitute appearances for the Blues this season under new boss Maurizio Sarri.

Loftus-Cheek, 22, impressed during his loan spell with the Eagles last term, which saw him go on to make Gareth Southgate’s World Cup squad.

Loftus-Cheek said this week that a return to Palace is a possibility if he is still not getting first-team football in January.

“I’ve answered this question before. I can’t answer the question ‘is that something you’re looking at’ because how can I look at it? He is a Chelsea player,” Hodgson said.

“I have no idea if he is going to be available in January, so what can I look at?

[/media-credit] Loftus-Cheek impressed during the World Cup

“If the question was ‘should Ruben Loftus-Cheek be made available in January, would Crystal Palace be interested in loaning him again?’ then the answer is ‘yes’.”

Former England boss Hodgson also rejected suggestions a lack of club game-time should influence whether a player features for the national team or not.

“What we did in the time with England was we believed in the quality of the players. We understood that they were at big clubs, and big-name players keep them out,” he said.

“The simple question to answer then is: ‘is this player, who is actually not playing at the moment, a better player than this one, who is English and is playing at the moment?’

“That will be a subject always of debate and it will be up to the national team manager to decide which road he goes down.”