Ruben Loftus-Cheek has joined Fulham on a one-year loan from Chelsea after falling down the pecking order at the club.

The 24-year-old star appeared just once for the Blues this term, with the midfielder not featuring since the PL opener against Brighton.

After starting in the Blues’ 3-1 victory at the Amex Stadium on September 14, the ex-Crystal Palace loanee was not named in another matchday squad.

Southampton were in the running to sign the England international, but they were not able to afford his hefty wages.

And Ruben has instead remained in West London after joining rivals Fulham, bossed by ex-Blue Scott Parker.

He said: “I’m really happy to come ‘next door,’ if you will! I watched Fulham at the start of the season and they looked like they’re playing decent football.

“With this manager, I think I can get back to my best football. That’s the main thing for me, to find my form and help this team win games.”

Vice-chairman Tony Khan also said: “I’m thrilled to announce the arrival of Ruben Loftus-Cheek to Fulham Football Club on loan from Chelsea FC.

“Ruben is a world-class player in the prime of his career, he has earned great experience in the Premier League, and we believe he will be so valuable to our club in our fight ahead of us. Come on Fulham!”

Chelsea manager Frank Lampard still believes Loftus-Cheek has a role to play at the club and is keen for him to get regular playing time.