England manager Gareth Southgate sympathised with the injured Ruben Loftus-Cheek after he was left out of his UEFA Nations League squad.
Following an impressive World Cup campaign last summer, Loftus-Cheek found himself on the fringes at Chelsea once more at the beginning of the season.
But the 23-year-old had become a more prominent member of the Chelsea midfield in recent fixtures prior to sustaining an ankle injury in the club’s 3-0 friendly win over New England Revolution in the United States on Wednesday.
Now it’s very unlikely Loftus-Cheek will be available for the Blues’ Europa League final against Arsenal on May 29 in Baku.
Therefore, Southgate was left with little choice but to leave Loftus-Cheek out of his initial 27-man squad for the inaugural Nations League finals in June.
Fellow Chelsea star Callum Hudson-Odoi has also been left out due to a lack of fitness.
“We will find out more about a couple of players in that period and then I am going to have to make a couple of decisions,” said Southgate, according to Fox Sports.
“But we can change if we have injuries after that date. Frankly, there is every chance that is going to happen.
“We have just got to make the best possible decisions really with the information that we have. It is constantly moving.
“I went to bed last night and Ruben is in the squad and playing brilliantly and now it is a huge disappointment for him. He misses now a major European final and a brilliant opportunity with us.
“In particular he has really come on in the last few months and looked strong and playing with a lot of confidence and I am really disappointed for him in particular.”
Loftus-Cheek has scored 10 goals and provided five assists in his 40 appearances for Chelsea this season.
Despite the loss of the young midfielder, however, Southgate did include an injured Harry Kane in the England squad.
The Three Lions will have until May 27 to decide on whether the Tottenham striker can recover in time from his ankle problem.