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Eden Hazard: Ruben Loftus-Cheek would be a plus for Chelsea first team

Eden Hazard has said it would be "a plus for everyone" to have Ruben Loftus-Cheek in the Chelsea team this season.

Loftus-Cheek capped a positive season on loan at Crystal Palace when he featured in four of seven matches at the World Cup as England reached the semifinals.

Chelsea are adamant that Loftus-Cheek is not for sale, but coach Maurizio Sarri is uncertain whether he can offer the 22-year-old a big enough first-team role to keep him satisfied this season.

Hazard, however, has no doubt that Loftus-Cheek is ready to contribute straight away.

"Ruben is a fantastic player," the Belgium international told the London Evening Standard.

"He is still young, of course, but I think if we can have him in the team this season it's a plus for everyone. I know his quality. He is young, he is powerful. The future will be top for him."

Hazard's future has been the subject of intense speculation this summer. He has been strongly linked with Real Madrid, and suggested after the World Cup that it "might be time to discover something different."

But with the Premier League transfer deadline on Thursday, Madrid have not made a big offer to test Chelsea's resolve and the Blues are increasingly confident of keeping their star player.

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