Chelsea boss Frank Lampard says he will give Ruben Loftus-CHeek time to reach top form after being on the sidelines due to injury for 16 months.
Loftus-Cheek featured in a more advanced number 10 role in Monday's 3-1 win at Brighton but continues to receive backing from Lampard despite clearly searching for genuine rhythm.
"Ruben obviously has been out for a long time and even his return to play was pretty broken by the lockdown and the restart when he was just available to play a few games," said Lampard.
"So we certainly have to give him a bit of time on those fronts," he added.
Gary Neville branded Loftus-Cheek's Brighton performance "disappointing" in punditry for Sky Sports, suggesting the talented midfielder could struggle as Chelsea continue their big-money overhaul under Lampard.