Maurizio Sarri has stressed that Ruben Loftus-Cheek will be staying with Chelsea for the remainder of the season.

While Loftus-Cheek looked set to complete a loan move away from Stamford Bridge in the summer, the 22-year-old midfielder remained at Chelsea to fight for a spot in Sarri’s starting XI.

The England international returned from an impressive World Cup brimming with confidence but he is still waiting for his start in the Premier League this term.

Sarri hailed Loftus-Cheek’s offensive abilities following his hat-trick against BATE Borisov in the Europa League, but believes the midfielder must still improve defensively.

‘He has improved but I think he needs to improve more from a tactical point of view,’ the Italian said ahead of Chelsea’s clash with Crystal Palace.

‘All the rest… good physically, he has great characteristics, he’s fast, solid technically, he’s very good and I think that if he wants to play like a midfielder he has to improve in defensive phase. But the potential is great.’

Sarri insists Loftus-Cheek will not be leaving Chelsea this winter but it appears that Gary Cahill could be on his way out.

‘Ruben in October played four matches out of five so at the moment the situation is not for a loan,’ Sarri said.