Loftus-Cheek open to positional change at Chelsea

Britain Football Soccer - Chelsea v Brentford - FA Cup Fourth Round - Stamford Bridge - 16/17 - 28/1/17 Chelsea's Ruben Loftus-Cheek Action Images via Reuters / Paul Childs

(Reuters) - Chelsea midfielder Ruben Loftus-Cheek is open to playing in different positions in order to force his way into contention for a starting spot with the Premier League leaders.

The England under-21 international has made just eight appearances for Chelsea this season, compared to 17 last year, as manager Antonio Conte's 3-4-3 system and the club's lack of European fixtures have reduced his playing opportunities.

"I'm always learning and I'm open to playing different positions," the 21-year-old told The Times. "That can only be good for my development."

Loftus-Cheek played two games for the under-21 side last week, scoring a brace in a 4-0 win over Denmark on Monday.

"I think I have to be on it, when you don't play much and you get a chance to play," he said. "I train hard and I train to the best of my abilities so when these opportunities do come, you're hungry from the first whistle."

Chelsea, who hold a comfortable 10-point cushion over the chasing pack, host 16th-placed Crystal Palace at Stamford Bridge on Saturday.

(Reporting by Aditi Prakash in Bengaluru)