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Ruben Loftus-Cheek included in Gareth Southgate’s World Cup squad

Chelsea midfielder Ruben Loftus-Cheek has been included in Gareth Southgate’s provisional 55-man England squad for the World Cup in Qatar, according to The Athletic.

The 26-year-old has impressed with his performances for Chelsea this season under Thomas Tuchel and Graham Potter, starting ten of 12 league matches.

The Chelsea academy graduate has featured in his traditional centre midfield role, but he has also shown he is capable of deputising at right wing-back. 

His versatility has increased his stock and could be useful to Southgate, especially with Reece James and Kyle Walker set to miss the World Cup due to injuries.

Loftus-Cheek was included in the Three Lions squad for the Russia World Cup during his loan spell with Crystal Palace in the 2017/18 campaign.

However, he has not been selected by Southgate since November 2018 after falling out of favour due to his numerous injury problems.

Southgate will need to trim his 55-man provisional list down to 26 later this month, but Loftus-Cheek has given the Three Lions manager plenty to think about.

Speaking about competing at the upcoming showpiece event last week, Loftus-Cheek said: “It would be amazing. It would mean a lot.

“Going into the 2018 World Cup, you see your trajectory go upwards and to be at the next World Cup if everything goes well.

“A lot has happened in that time, and I am just happy and grateful that I am fit and healthy and playing football now consistently.

“If I go to the World Cup, it would mean the world — but that is not at the forefront of my mind now. It would be selfish to think about my personal aspirations rather than the club at the moment.”

The Athletic also reported earlier this week that Newcastle United striker Callum Wilson and Brighton & Hove Albion duo Lewis Dunk and Danny Welbeck have also been named in Southgate’s preliminary squad.

The tournament begins on November 20, and England will start their campaign with a match-up against Iran the following day.

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