LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 02: Ruben Loftus-Cheek of Chelsea celebrates with teammates after scoring his team's second goal during the Premier League match between Chelsea FC and Fulham FC at Stamford Bridge on December 1, 2018 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Justin Setterfield/Getty Images)

Eden Hazard remains confident over team-mate Ruben Loftus-Cheek’s potential, despite his struggles for regular playing time at Chelsea this season

The 22-year-old midfielder returned to Stamford Bridge in the summer following an impressive World Cup campaign for England, while starring along at Crystal Palace on loan.

However, under new Chelsea coach Maurizio Sarri, Loftus-Cheek is yet to start a single Premier League game this season.

Jorginho, N’Golo Kante, Mateo Kovacic and Ross Barkley are all ahead of Loftus-Cheek in the Chelsea midfield pecking order.

But the England international has impressed in the Europa League and scored in Chelsea’s 2-0 derby win over Fulham on Sunday.

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“He’s a fantastic player,” Hazard told Sky Sports on Loftus-Cheek. “We all know. I’ve trained with him for five years.

“I saw him when he was young, now he is not so young but he can still improve. But in the future I think he will be one of the best midfielders in the country.”

On Loftus-Cheek’s goal at the weekend, Hazard added: “This goal was good but we have the kind of players that when (we are) in short spaces we can do one-touch and give and goes. So we try to do this.”

Chelsea will next travel to Molineux to face Wolves in the Premier League on Wednesday.