Roy Hodgson: 'Ruben Loftus-Cheek could be better than Michael Ballack'

Ruben Loftus-Cheek

GETTYRuben Loftus Cheek had his first full season of first-team football at Palace last term

Loftus-Cheek's meteoric rise to the summit of English football happened virtually overnight.

He was subsequently included in The Three Lions' squad which headed to the World Cup in Russian Federation, where he's set to be handed his first competitive start for his country against Panama on Sunday.

Hodgson is in fact bursting with praise for the England youngster as he went on to compare the 22-year-old with Germany legend and former Chelsea man Michael Ballack.

Loftus-Cheek appeared 25 times, scoring twice, with his minutes only restricted by injury having played an important role after Hodgson was appointed in early September. But I think he's got Ballack's power and his pace and his strength, he's definitely got that.

"He's maybe got more strings to his bow than even Ballack had".

"One of the things I love about him is he is always looking around with head movement, and always scanning the pitch, so he knows where he wants to go and he knows where the space is". What do you think, Blues?

The Daily Mirror reported on Saturday that Everton boss Marco Silva is targeting moves for both Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Jack Wilshere this summer. That ability to receive a ball in tight situations and then come out very quickly on the other side and open a game up.

"Ruben can twist and turn his way out of tight situations and, as I say, open a game up". "I do think he's ready, yes, definitely, 100 percent", 'We missed him enormously in the three months he was injured with his ankle problem.

Raheem Sterling kept his place in England's starting line-up for Sunday's Group G clash against Panama in Nizhny Novgorod despite suggestions he would be dropped for Marcus Rashford.

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