The blues boss is impressed with the way his local star plays at Craven Cottage and is seriously considering bringing him back next season
Frank Lampard has announced that he sees Fulham loanee Ruben Loftus-Cheek as part of his long-term plans at Chelsea ahead of the West London derby this weekend.
Loftus-Cheek has earned praise for his recent appearances at local rivals Chelsea, but he won’t be able to play for Scott Parker’s side on Saturday due to the terms of his loan deal.
Still, Lampard has closely followed the 24-year-old’s development through reports from the lending department of the Cobham Training Center. Lampard has said he hopes to see Loftus-Cheek back at Chelsea next season.
“He played well [against Tottenham] and I was delighted to see that because when Ruben got fit and was with us I felt like we missed him last year. And when Ruben got fit I was excited because I knew his qualities and I wanted those qualities in the club, “Lampard told reporters about Zoom.
“The conversations I had with Ruben at the beginning of the season were that he was not feeling as sharp as he wanted because of a really bad injury he had (suffered an Achilles tendon rupture in May 2019).
“Could he go and play games because he felt he needed games and maybe he could get regular games elsewhere.
“When I see him play recently, I see that he looks fit, fresh and strong. We know he’s an obvious talent so it’s great. If he can hopefully keep it up for the whole season and when he comes back there can be where he was and more then I’ll be “I’ll be very happy and he’ll definitely come back as our player.”
Lampard may not be ready for a reunion with Loftus-Cheek but he will face his former England teammate and Chelsea Parker in the dugout.
Chelsea go into the game to improve from a streak in which they have only won one of their last six league games. Fulham are aiming for a relegation zone after a draw at Tottenham.
Lampard enjoys the chance to face his friend Parker on Saturday night.
“We spent some time on vacation a few years ago,” Lampard told reporters. “At the time he was working at Tottenham. It was before Fulham. But we talked about our passion for our job and what we want to do.
“We were work friends for a while and would have kept in touch otherwise, but I think when our paths both went towards management, we went on vacation to the same destination a few times and had lunch together and a few drinks here and there there, so we are sure to be close – as much as that is possible.
“Scott shouldn’t be asking me for advice. We should have open discussions. It would be a one-way street because we both have different experiences.
“We get in touch from time to time. You are a rival, but if you have a friendship at the same time, it should override that off the field. I’m looking forward to the challenge of playing him because he is undoubtedly a gentleman of the game.
“The other thing about friends is, when you are driven in this game, you may even want to defeat your friends more than sometimes your enemies – I don’t know – but it doesn’t change anything in terms of how you approach the game.
“I’m sure Scott doesn’t mind me saying that and he’ll think the same way. At the end of the day, it’s points for our teams that we both need right now. He’s doing a great job, it’s a Print job because it will be tough for her.
“We all have different expectations and at the moment he’s playing fantastic with his team. That doesn’t surprise me.
Chelsea will enter the game at Craven Cottage in ninth place, 10 points behind leaders Manchester United.