Chelsea midfielder Willian has hailed Ruben Loftus-Cheek and joked he is surprised the club allowed the 21-year-old England player to leave on loan for Crystal Palace.
Loftus-Cheek has made a bright start in Palace’s midfield and enjoyed an excellent England debut in Friday’s 0-0 draw with Germany at Wembley.
He was forced off with a back injury in the first half of Tuesday’s goalless draw with Brazil but Willian, who trained and played with Loftus-Cheek at Chelsea, was impressed.
‘A very good player,’ Willian said. ‘He is strong, he has quality. He has a great future.’
The Brazilian then laughed: ‘I don’t know why he is at Crystal Palace. He has to come back!’
Willian, who captained Brazil during last week’s 3-1 victory over Japan and came off the bench at Wembley late on, praised the organisation of Gareth Southgate’s young team.
‘England are a very strong team with young players, quality players,’ he said. ‘It was difficult for us to find spaces because they had a lot of players behind the ball.
‘We created four or five chances to score but didn’t manage to. England can improve a lot, like us. I think they can do that.’
Palace boss Roy Hodgson will give an update on Loftus-Cheek’s injury on Thursday afternoon. It is understood that if the player is ruled out of Saturday’s Premier League clash at home to Everton, his absence will not be for more than one game.
Palace sit bottom of the table after a 1-0 defeat by Tottenham before the international break, having won just one point since October 14.
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