Fulham have signed Chelsea midfielder Reuben Loftus-Cheek on a season-long loan deal.
The England international becomes the newly-promoted side’s second deadline day capture after the Whites launched a late move to secure his services. The 24 year-old has made just one senior appearance under Frank Lampard this season and held talks with the Chelsea boss earlier this week to guarantee first-team football in a bid to reignite his international career. Injuries and a lack of regular game time have seen him fallen down Gareth Southgate’s pecking order after a stellar end to the 2017/2018 season saw him included in the World Cup squad.
The attacking midfielder told Fulham’s website:
I’m really happy to come ‘next door,’ if you will! I watched Fulham at the start of the season and they looked like they’re playing decent football. With this manager, I think I can get back to my best football. That’s the main thing for me, to find my form and help this team win games.
Loftus-Cheek, who has won ten senior international caps, has been at Stamford Bridge since the age of eight. He was part of the Blues’ under-18 squad that beat Fulham in the FA Youth Cup final in 2014 and made his senior debut as a substitute in a Champions’ League win over Sporting Lisbon that December. He made his league debut against Manchester City in January 2015 and was awarded a Premier League winners’ medal by Jose Mourinho despite making just three appearances in the 2014/2015 campaign.
He scored his first professional goal against Scunthorpe United in the FA Cup in January 2016 but found his opportunities limited under Antonio Conte. He starred on loan with Crystal Palace, scoring twice in 25 appearances for the Eagles as Roy Hodgson’s men stayed up despite losing their first seven league matches. He was rewarded with a first England call-up from Southgate and was part of England’s 23-man squad for the World Cup in Russia, replacing Dele Ali in England’s last-gasp opening group game win over Tunisia.