After watching his son produce a Man of the Match display against Germany on Friday night, Trevor Loftus-Cheek has taken a direct swipe at Jose Mourinho for holding his son back during their time together at Chelsea.
The 21-year-old has been getting all sorts of plaudits from across the game for his performance against the world champions at Wembley and now, his dad has weighed in by suggesting that, were he to have been on the books of Tottenham rather than the Blues, he’d already be an established Premier League player.
Despite the Portuguese having moved onto Manchester United, plenty still question his record on the development and identification of talented young players, with Loftus-Cheek’s emergence at Crystal Palace this season only adding further fuel to the fire. Whilst an easy case can be made by managers who claim that it’s bordering on impossible to drop established stars in order to give untested youngsters a chance, Mauricio Pochettino’s record at Tottenham points towards a methodology that affords young players the perfect environment in which to flourish.
I’m not sure how wise it is of Ruben’s father to go on record calling out Mourinho publicly after just one headline-grabbing performance in an England shirt from his son but I can certainly empathise with the frustration he’ll have been feeling over this last two to three years.
As stand-in England captain, Eric Dier said when asked about Loftus-Cheek recently, he’s a player whose potential has been well known for a good while, with Palace seen by many as the ideal place for him to find his feet in the Premier League. I don’t doubt that with different managers and a tweaked approach to the cultivation of young talent at Stamford Bridge, Loftus-Cheek would have been on the national radar long before now but so much in life can chance on the figurative flip of a coin.
All Ruben needs to do now is ensure that his performances remain at a consistently high level, giving no one at club or international level the chance to ignore him.