Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri has admitted that he’s facing a tactical problem at Chelsea after seeing Loftus-Cheek impress with a hat-trick on Thursday.
The England midfielder who scored a hat-trick for the Blues has made just 2 appearances as a sub for Chelsea in the Premier League and Sarri has insisted that only improvements in his defensive abilities will enable him to get more chances.
In the course of a new conference, Sarri said: “He played very, very well. In the offensive phase he was wonderful”.
“I told him at the beginning of the season I thought he was a very good player. Now I think the same, but now he’s more suited to my football, he’s improving.
“He needs to improve in the defensive phase, but not only Loftus. At the moment we have four midfielders for two positions – three of them with the same characteristics, of being offensive midfielders. Only [N’Golo] Kante is a defensive midfielder.
“It’s very difficult for me to put in the starting XI two offensive midfielders at the same time. I hope to be able to do it in the future.
“I need the cooperation of the players of course. I need an improvement in the defensive phase.”
Meanwhile, Loftus-Cheek’s England counterpart Ross Barkley has also made just 3 starts for the Blues this season as Sarri’s men remain unbeaten since the Community Shield loss to Manchester City.
Sarri added that there was a possibility for the duo to be used together in the future, albeit, dependent on their improvement.
“I have a little problem as I have to put 11 players in the starting XI and I have 28 players. It’s a little problem and I don’t know how to solve it,” he said.
“As I said before, I have a tactical problem with the midfielders because of their characteristics.
“We need to work and they have to improve in the defensive phase. In the future I may be able to put Barkley and Loftus in the same starting XI.”