By Guy Giles
Chelsea midfielder Ruben Loftus-Cheek’s development was stunted by Jose Mourinho, and the Crystal Palace loanee would have already made dozens of first-team appearances if he was playing under Mauricio Pochettino, claims the player’s father.
Trevor Loftus-Cheek spoke to the Daily Mail about the early days of his son’s career, and made the claim that playing under Mourinho meant he didn’t play as much as he should have done for Chelsea.
Loftus-Cheek made his England debut in a friendly against Germany on Saturday, putting in an impressive performance for a young side as he was named man-of-the-match.
The 21-year-old has struggled to break into the first team at parent club Chelsea, making just 32 appearances over his three years in the senior set up, and he has now made a loan move to Palace to get game time.
Trevor Loftus-Cheek said: “Jose Mourinho held him back. He should have been playing. Everyone behind the scenes was asking: ‘why isn’t he playing?’
“If Ruben was playing for Mauricio Pochettino, he’d have 70, 80, 90 first team appearances by now.”
Loftus-Cheek has long been one of Chelsea’s most promising academy products, but Mourinho’s lack of faith in youngsters took its toll as he languished in Chelsea’s U23 squad.
Spurs boss Pochettino is well-known for his ability to bring youngsters through into the first team and turn them into top-class players.
Harry Kane, Dele Alli, Eric Dier, and Harry Winks are testament to this, with all four of them now playing for, and in some cases captaining, England.
Whether Mr. Loftus-Cheek is right about in his claim about Pochettino will never be known, but his son is finally starting to catch the eye on football’s biggest stages, just as he has done for years in youth football.
In other Tottenham Hotspur news, this defender may be a doubt for the North London derby on Saturday.