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‘No secret’ Crystal Palace wanted Ruben Loftus-Cheek back, says Roy Hodgson

• Chelsea midfielder shone on loan at Crystal Palace last season
• ‘He’s shown Chelsea what we saw – a top-class player’

Ruben Loftus-Cheek departed Crystal Palace in the summer with a promise from Roy Hodgson he would be welcome back at Selhurst Park if he ever left Chelsea, though the former England manager has not been surprised to see the midfielder seize his opportunity back at his parent club.

The 22 year old enjoyed an impressive loan spell last season despite a three?month injury absence mid-season, making 24 league appearances and helping Palace stay up. The Chelsea youth-team graduate’s displays earned him a place in Gareth Southgate’s World Cup squad but, with Maurizio Sarri only installed at Stamford Bridge in mid-July and anxious to assess the squad he inherited, Loftus?Cheek struggled to make an impression.

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