Ruben Loftus-Cheek is unaccustomed to being in the limelight but knows he can always turn to former Chelsea captain John Terry for help.

After his impressive England debut against Germany on Friday night, the shy 21-year-old suddenly finds himself the centre of attention.

Loftus-Cheek only started playing regularly at senior level after agreeing a loan move to Crystal Palace in the summer. Now there is talk the Chelsea midfielder could be in the England squad — or even start — at the World Cup in Russia next summer.

With great expectations comes pressure but, in Terry, Loftus-Cheek has found an experienced shoulder on which to lean.

Former England skipper Terry is well aware of what Loftus-Cheek is going through. Terry progressed from being a bright prospect in Chelsea’s academy to the highest level of the game.

Even though he left Stamford Bridge for Championship side Aston Villa in the summer, the 36-year-old is still proving to be a useful mentor for his former club-mate.

“John has been helping me a lot this season,” said Loftus-Cheek. “He’s always been supportive of me and will continue to be so.

“I’ve bumped into him a few times and we’ve had a few chats about what it’s like at Aston Villa for him and he’s asking me how I’m doing. He’s always giving me advice.

“John has been telling me that I just have to keep my feet on the ground and keep working. Sometimes it’s easy as a young player, when you get exposure, for things to change and it’s hard to deal with. 

In Pictures | England vs Germany | 10/11

“But I don’t think it’ll be difficult for me to keep my feet on the ground. I like to think I’m a humble person. 

“I’ve just got to keep working hard, to keep pushing, stay fit, get as many games as I can and who knows what will happen.”

Given the confident manner of Loftus-Cheek’s display at Wembley three days ago, it will be a surprise if England coach Gareth Southgate does not use him against Brazil on Tuesday.

Inevitably, his lack of game time at Chelsea, where he has started just six League games, has been highlighted. Loftus-Cheek revealed after facing the Germans that Chelsea coach Antonio Conte had not been in contact since he made the switch to Selhurst Park.

However, it is the job of Chelsea’s loan technical coach, Eddie Newton, who also came through the Chelsea youth system, to provide such support.

Impressive: Loftus-Cheek was named man of the match on England debut (Action Images via Reuters)

Given Palace are fansitedbusred at the bottom of the Premier League and Loftus-Cheek has not been part of a winning side yet [he was not allowed to play in their 2-1 win over parent club Chelsea in October], one might wonder whether Selhurst Park is the right place for such a talent to be.

Newton believes Loftus-Cheek’s move will provide a good pathway back to Chelsea’s first team. He said: “I know Crystal Palace haven’t but Ruben has had a very good start to the season. I have been very impressed. 

“We have sat down and spoken seriously about what he must bring to the table. He knows what he has to do and is applying it.

“Unfortunately the team make-up at Crystal Palace hasn’t been great for him. With this being his first loan away from Chelsea, you’d want him to be in a more stable environment but they lost their manager, Frank de Boer, early in the season and it has been difficult for him.

“But Roy (Hodgson) has come in and we will see if we can work with him. I need to speak to Roy, which is what I will be doing this month.”

It is believed that the only break clause Chelsea inserted into the loan deal with Crystal Palace was over playing a minimum amount of games. 

In other words, Loftus-Cheek will not  be returning to Conte’s side early in January because he is being consistently picked at Crystal Palace.

Newton has worked with a number of gifted young players at Chelsea since returning to the club as a coach in 2012 but he clearly holds Loftus-Cheek in higher regard than most. He added on Chelsea TV: “Everyone has to be patient with Ruben. I have no doubt  he will get there because he is super talented. 

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“In some of his performances this season we have seen glimpses of his power, his technique under pressure and you just think, ‘wow, in the right circumstances this guy can blow people away’. I’m excited about his future.

“The big thing for Ruben is consistency of performance and to stay fit. You have to remember he hasn’t played regularly for three seasons, that’s a big hit on a player.”

With Terry on his side, it would be a surprise if Loftus-Cheek does not make a big impact in the game.

Source: https://www.standard.co.uk/sport/football/john-terry-still-playing-key-role-for-chelsea-as-ruben-loftuscheek-s-mentor-a3689511.html