Frank Lampard says Ruben Loftus-Cheek’s long-term future is at Chelsea ahead of Saturday’s west London derby.
Loftus-Cheek was taken off in that game and did not play again for the Blues before his season-long loan move to Fulham in October.
The 24-year-old has been a regular starter for Scott Parker’s side in recent weeks, as Fulham have moved to within two points of safety.
He was particularly impressive against Tottenham on Wednesday, with Scott Parker’s side coming from behind to draw 1-1.
The Cottagers may have hoped to sign Loftus-Cheek on a permanent deal if they avoid relegation, but Lampard has ruled out a transfer in the summer.
He played well [against Tottenham] and I was really pleased to see that because when Ruben was getting fit and was with us, I felt like we missed him last year,” he said.
“And when Ruben was getting fit, I was excited because I know the attributes he has and I wanted those attributes at the club.
"The conversations I had with Ruben earlier in the season were that he wasn’t feeling as sharp as he wanted to be on the back of a really bad injury which he had (a ruptured Achilles tendon).
"Could he go and play games because he felt he needed games and maybe he could get regular games elsewhere.
"Seeing him play recently, I see him looking fit, fresh and strong. We know he’s an obvious talent so it’s great.
"If he can keep that up hopefully through the season and if he can get back to where he was and more then I’ll be very happy and he’ll come back as our player, for sure."
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