Fulham manager Scott Parker has backed Ruben Loftus-Cheek to succeed this season at Craven Cottage, hailing his “huge potential” following his loan move from Chelsea.
The 24-year-old had been struggling to find consistent playing time at Stamford Bridge after the coronavirus pandemic disrupted his return from an Achilles tendon injury.
The Cottagers are currently rooted to the foot of the Premier League table with no points from their first four matches, but Parker believes England midfielder Loftus-Cheek can give the squad a boost.
“He’s settled in really well,” the Fulham boss said.
“He’s come into the club from around the corner really, so from those dynamics it’s been a pretty easy transition for him, he’s still living in the same house so that’s really good.
“Obviously as a player and as a boy he’s been first class. We’ve now had a good 10 days with him and he’s worked hard and we’ve brought him here because we feel like he can help us, help the team and I’m sure he’ll have a big season with us this year.”
Loftus-Cheek was limited to nine appearances for Chelsea in the 2019-20 season following his return from injury, of which just two were starts.
When asked whether the move to Fulham was also an opportunity for the player, Parker said: “Yeah I do. I think you’re right in saying he’s got huge potential.
“He now needs to be consistent with that and take that step and I feel we can offer him something here and we can help develop him as well of course and give him a platform where if he does the right thing and shows his quality.
“We can give him Premier League football and we also feel like we can nurture him and develop him and help him get to where he needs to get to.”
Parker has also been dealt an injury blow ahead of his side’s trip to Sheffield United on Saturday with both teams still searching for their first points of the season.
New signing Joachim Andersen sustained damage to his ankle ligaments in training and will join fellow newcomer Kenny Tete on the sidelines, with Parker unable to give a timescale on the recovery of either.