Fulham have confirmed the signing of Chelsea midfielder Ruben Loftus-Cheek on a season-long loan.
The England international started Chelsea’s opening day victory over Brighton, but has not featured in the top flight since.
Loftus-Cheek missed the majority of the 2019/20 season with a serious achilles injury that kept him sidelined for nine months, meaning he was restricted to just two starts in the Premier League.
The 24-year-old remains highly rated at Stamford Bridge, with the move to Craven Cottage aimed at him gaining more top flight minutes and improving his fitness.
Speaking to Fulham’s website, he said: “I’m really happy to come ‘next door,’ if you will! I watched Fulham at the start of the season and they looked like they’re playing decent football. With this manager, I think I can get back to my best football. That’s the main thing for me, to find my form and help this team win games.”
Loftus-Cheek pockets £150,000 per week with the Blues, and Chelsea are said to be subsidising a portion of his salary packet in order to enable the move to Fulham to go through.
The midfielder is one of 12 Chelsea players to have been sent out on loan across Europe and up and down the English football pyramid during the 2020 transfer window.
Tiemoue Bakayoko is the most recent to have departed Chelsea on a temporary basis, having joined Napoli on a season-long loan on deadline day.
The loan move is Loftus-Cheek’s second of his career, after he spent the 2017/18 season at Crystal Palace. The Chelsea academy product impressed so much during his time at Selhurst Park that he forced his way into the England senior side and was named in the Three Lions’ 23-man squad for the 2018 World Cup.
A similar impact at Fulham would be most welcome, with the Cottagers currently marooned to the bottom of the Premier League table without a win or point in the top flight all season.