Arsenal legend Paul Merson says he feels sorry for Ruben Loftus-Cheek at Chelsea.
The 22-year-old midfielder was denied loan moves to both Crystal Palace and Schalke during the summer, with manager Maurizio Sarri keen to have him part of his first-team this season.
But with the Blues’ midfield stronger than ever and Sarri opting for a regular midfield three of Jorginho, N’Golo Kante and Mateo Kovacic, Loftus-Cheek has featured just twice from the bench so far this term.
With Cesc Fabregas set to return from injury in the coming weeks, Loftus-Cheek could find himself even further down the pecking order at The Bridge.
And Merson says he feels sympathy for the talented youngster, who he believes should be playing more regularly at such a vital stage in his career.
Speaking to Sky Sports, Merson said: “He should play more,” Merson told The Debate on Sky Sports.
“He’s unlucky and I feel sorry for him because he’s just a little bit short of getting in the Chelsea team.
“But they won’t let him go out on loan because he’s still a good player, so it’s a hard one. Fabregas is not playing at the moment, and if Pedro doesn’t play then Willian plays and vice-versa.
“Chelsea have got a good squad, it’s a shame on the lad. But what do you do? You’re at one of the top clubs in England. Do you say ‘Alright I’m going to leave’ and then join a team if relegation candidates but at least play every week?’”
Loftus-Cheek started for England last night as Gareth Southgate’s side beat Switzerland 1-0 at the King Power Stadium.