Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri has hinted that Ruben Loftus-Cheek needs to improve tactically if he wants to establish himself in the first team. 

The 22-year-old has struggled for regular game time this season after returning to Stamford Bridge following a successful loan spell at Crystal Palace, featuring only three times in all competitions so far.

Chelsea v Vidi FC - UEFA Europa League - Group L

Loftus-Cheek started his first game of this season in Chelsea's recent Europa League win against Vidi but, despite impressing, Sarri has suggested areas of improvement for the midfielder if he wants to play more often.

Quoted by the Independent, he said: "He’s a great player from the technical point of view, and from the physical point of view. 

"But he has to improve from a tactical point of view. I want more from the tactical point of view because we conceded three or four counter-attacks to the opponent. we have to do better, especially in this case with the midfielders."

Loftus-Cheek has found opportunities limited this season, resulting in him being omitted from the latest England squad, with Sarri admitting he will be glad to be able to work at close quarters with the midfielder. 

He continued, stating: "In this moment for the player it’s better to stay in Cobham [Chelsea’s training base] because it’s very important to have a lot of training sessions. In the last three of four weeks he hasn’t been training a lot. It’s better for him to stay and work."


One beneficiary however since the arrival of Sarri has been Ross Barkley, who has earned an England recall following his fine early season form, with the Italian praising his rapid improvement in recent weeks. 

Sarri said: "Barkley needed to improve [when I first arrived]. He is improving. I’m very happy with him."