Ruben Loftus-Cheek has caught scent of potential first team chances coming his way at Chelsea, where he is keen to make his name, but is aware that a return to Crystal Palace is on the cards should he fail to do so.
As reported by the Guardian, the 22-year-old is aware that the Blues' heavy schedule, involving a barrage of Premier League and Europa League games, should see him given a platform to impress as Maurizio Sarri rotates his team.
Loftus-Cheek made his first start of the season in England's victory over Switzerland on Tuesday night, having been afforded just 33 minutes at club level so far in this campaign.
With fellow England and Chelsea midfielder Danny Drinkwater unavailable for selection having been left out of the Blues' Europa League squad, Loftus-Cheek expects to be involved against Paok Salonika next week.
The Chelsea academy graduate said: “There are a lot of games coming up, so I think there will be more opportunities coming for players that are not playing every week.
“But I’m not sure when I am going to play. It is just down to me working hard in training. A lot of my game is based on physicality and I obviously didn’t feel my fittest against Switzerland but I will build on that.
"I’ve spoken a lot with Sarri in the past couple of weeks and he’s told me I need to learn tactically and his ways in training. The quicker I get that then the more opportunities I will get to play.”
The midfielder, who has been with the Blues since he was eight-years-old, starred whilst on loan with Palace last season, making 24 top-flight appearances as he was selected for the World Cup squad.
Very strange world where players such as Loftus Cheek now need to prove themselves in the national team to get into the club team.— Adam Crafton (@AdamCrafton_) September 11, 2018
However, the arrival of Croatian international Mateo Kovacic on loan from Real Madrid has pushed the 22-year-old even further down the pecking order at Stamford Bridge.
When asked if there was a chance of a return to the Eagles, Loftus-Cheek replied: “Possibly but it is still far away.
"There are still a lot of games to play and I just have to see what happens. Right now I am at Chelsea and my focus is at Chelsea and learning at Chelsea. That is in the future and we will deal with that when it comes.”