Ruben Loftus-Cheek offered Chelsea lifeline as Thomas Tuchel opens door to return and compares him to Michael Ballack
RUBEN LOFTUS-CHEEK has been offered a route back at Chelsea after a glowing compliment from his manager.
Blues boss Thomas Tuchel compared the Fulham loanee to German legend Michael Ballack.
Loftus-Cheek is on loan at Chelsea's west London rivals and will not play in their clash on Saturday.
But Tuchel admitted he was an admirer of the midfielder before the manager arrived at Stamford Bridge this season.
Tuchel said: "I was quite a fan of him when he was younger.
"He reminded me of Michael Ballack. There were links with him moving to Germany. We are well aware of his talent.
"I don't know why things have not worked out as he wished but now he is doing good.
"I cannot judge him from TV and hearsay. I love to work with players then to give my opinion."
The Blues are in need of three points in their bid to finish in the top four.
But Tuchel faces some tough team decisions with a Champions League semi-final second leg against Real Madrid coming up.
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He said: "Fulham is a good chance to keep our advantage in the league, nothing else. I know very well it is a match between two semi finals.
"It is not a usual week but I am happy. It is the moment to prove to ourselves that we can focus our energy into tomorrow's game.
"We are in the middle of the race. It is not easy to switch from one competition to another but who cares?
"It is my job to find the mix, to put the players in the right mindset and to prepare for this match in a way they all understand the importance."
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