HODGSON: LOFTUS-CHEEK MIGHT BE A BETTER PLAYER THAN BALLACK

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Crystal Palace boss Roy Hodgson has suggested Ruben Loftus-Cheek might be a better player than Michael Ballack.

Hodgson believes Loftus-Cheek shares similar attributes to Ballack but feels Loftus-Cheek is trickier than the former Germany midfielder.

“I think Ruben’s internal midfield play is something that makes him very versatile,” Hodgson told Sportsmail. “I don’t know what his best position is. It really depends how teams want to play.

“I’d say he goes by people more than Ballack did. But I think he’s got Ballack’s power and his pace and his strength – he’s definitely got that.

“But he’s maybe got more strings to his bow than even Ballack had. That’s a bold thing to say, I know, but he’s so good at going past people. He’s got that deceptive turn of pace.

“In that way he’s a bit like Jack Wilshere really. That ability to receive a ball in tight situations and then come out very quickly on the other side and open a game up.”

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OTONY
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