Loftus-Cheek reveals surprise at Tuchel’s tactical decision against Luton

Ruben Loftus-Cheek revealed he was ‘surprised’ by Thomas Tuchel’s decision to play him as an emergency centre-half against Luton in Wednesday’s FA Cup fifth round win.

The England international enjoyed something of a renaissance earlier this campaign, but has been on the periphery in recent weeks and hasn’t started any league match since mid-December.

After Sunday’s Carabao Cup final defeat against Liverpool, Tuchel chose to rotate his team for the game against Championship opposition and rested players like Thiago Silva, while Trevoh Chalobah missed out through injury.

Loftus-Cheek equipped himself well as the Blues eventually prevailed 3-2 having trailed at half-time, and he provided the assist for Timo Werner’s equaliser with a sublime pass over the top of the Hatters’ defence.

‘It came as a surprise to me, I found out the day before I might have to do a job there,’ revealed Loftus-Cheek when asked about Tuchel’s decision to play him in an unfamiliar role.

‘A lot of our defenders have got niggles and some players who played 120 minutes plus penalties at the weekend, so you have to do a job wherever you get put.

‘I still try to bring my qualities and what makes me Loftus-Cheek to the game and that’s all I can do and I really enjoyed it.

‘I played centre-back when I was 12 or 13 for a season or two and I never liked it, but tonight was a bit different.

‘I played centre back in a back four when I was younger this was a bit different where I had more license to step out and create the attack from the start so I enjoyed it.

‘I had a lot of time on the ball and nobody was pressuring me so I looked up and Timo was pointing in behind I tried to pick him out great touch and great finish.’

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