Despite breaking into the first team three years ago at the age of 19, Loftus-Cheek was not a regular starter in the Premier League until last season while on loan at Crystal Palace.
The midfielder’s form at Selhurst Park caught the attention of England manager Gareth Southgate, and he subsequently made it into the national team’s 23-man squad for the World Cup.
Although the 22-year-old did not feature as much as he would have liked in Russia, his performances in the last year have certainly suggested that he could feature more prominently at Stamford Bridge this term.
Loftus-Cheek’s hunger to succeed was demonstrated when he returned to training just 16 days after England’s tournament had ended and he has since featured in pre-season games against Arsenal and Lyon.
Hazard, who emerged victorious against Loftus-Cheek when Belgium met the Three Lions in the third-place play-off, told Standard Sport: “Ruben is a fantastic player. He is still young, of course, but I think if we have him in the team this season it’s a plus for everyone.
“I know his quality. He is young, he is powerful. The future will be top for him.”
Chelsea’s Premier League season begins this Saturday at 3pm, when they host Huddersfield.
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