Loftus-Cheek insists he can learn from Sarri at Chelsea

Ruben Loftus-Cheek showed his class in emphatic fashion. [Picture: Nick Potts/PA Wire]

Ruben Loftus-Cheek insists he would be “daft” not to keep on learning from Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri.

England midfielder Loftus-Cheek fired a hat-trick as the Blues overwhelmed BATE Borisov 3-1 in Thursday’s Europa League clash at Stamford Bridge.

The 22-year-old’s treble – his first Chelsea goals in 30 months – might not be enough to force him into the Blues’ Premier League starting XI though, with Sarri demanding more defensively.

Former England boss Glenn Hoddle has urged Loftus-Cheek to leave Chelsea in search of a regular starting spot – but the Blues star himself maintains he has a good working relationship with Sarri.

“From a manager who has been in the game a long time, it would be daft for me not to take in what he’s telling me,” said Loftus-Cheek.

“And he’s a top manager, and for me to learn from him is great for my development. And I’ll keep on doing that, and keep on listening and learning in the time I’m on the pitch and in training.

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“That’s what I can do right now and as a player-manager relationship, it’s work, we both have respect for each other – so this is a good relationship.”

Loftus-Cheek spent last term on loan at Crystal Palace, proving such a hit with the Eagles he forced his way into England’s World Cup squad.

The Chelsea academy product has yet to start a Premier League game under new Stamford Bridge boss Sarri though, enjoying just 33 minutes of league action this term.

Former England manager Hoddle told BT Sport he believes Loftus-Cheek will need a regular starting berth soon, to keep on advancing his international ambitions.

“I fear for the lad; if he isn’t going to get the opportunities soon then he has got to move,” Hoddle told BT Sport.

Loftus-Cheek’s hat-trick was the first by a Chelsea player in Europe since Didier Drogba’s against Levski Sofia in 2006, [Picture: Nick Potts/PA Wire]

“He’s a talent – with my England hat on I need to see him playing.”

Sarri appeared in regular dialogue with Loftus-Cheek from the touchline on Thursday, cajoling the England star despite his well-taken hat-trick for his first Chelsea goals since netting in the 4-0 FA Cup win over Aston Villa on April 2, 2016.

The Stamford Bridge boss later explained it is proving tricky to fit all his midfielders into regular Premier League action, but also praised Loftus-Cheek for steady improvements this term.

Loftus-Cheek revealed the battles to perform amid limited action, but insisted he is still enjoying his challenge at Chelsea and working with Sarri.

“He’s asking me to improve defensively and positionally, working in training every day; he’s very demanding with the team,” said Loftus-Cheek.

Chelsea remain unbeaten under Sarri. [Picture: Steve Paston/PA Wire]

“And he’s so demanding on shape, but also lets you play freely as well, which is why we’re playing some free-flowing football and creating some good attacking football. So it’s really good work.

“There’s still a long way to go, a huge way to go. I want to keep being ambitious, improve and see how far I can go.

“I’ve never doubted my ability, it’s just hard sometimes to perform at your best when you’re not playing regularly.

“So it’s important to train well, keep your good habits, eat well, sleep well, just so when nights like this come you can be as close to your best physical shape as possible.

“And it’s difficult, so I’ll keep trying to do that, and that’s all I can do right now.”