Cape Town - Chelsea midfielder Ruben Loftus-Cheek has admitted that he would have liked more game time than he has been given to date but is remaining patient for the moment.
Loftus-Cheek, 22, has featured regularly for England under Gareth Southgate in recent times, and is proud to have done so despite struggling to break through at the Blues.
"Being 22 feels quite old, considering some of the boys were playing when they were 17 or 18," Loftus-Cheek told Sky Sports.
"I'd like to have more appearances by now, but it's just the way my journey has gone, and I just have to be patient with it.
"I can see it as a positive; I'm playing for England, playing well when I play, and that's without too many appearances so it's still raw in that sense."
Loftus-Cheek has played a bit-part role at Stamford Bridge, spending last season on loan at Crystal Palace, where he impressed.
However, he has revealed his gratitude for the experience of training alongside top players at a young age while at Chelsea.
"Being at Chelsea, it's a top club with top players," he said. "When I'm training at 17 or 18 with the first team, it was really good for my education playing with these top players.
"I really enjoyed playing and training with them, I could feel myself getting better every day and improving, but it got to a point where training wasn't enough, and you need the exposure in the Premier League.
"That's when I took the chance to go to Palace, and even when that happened, I thought I could've done it earlier. I started really enjoying my football, playing in the Premier League every week, and I felt the benefits.
"The benefit of last season at Palace [was first-team football]. I was fortunate enough to be fit for that period where it's like, a game every three days over Christmas, and I got my body used to being able to play, have a rest, then play on a Tuesday. That was massive for me and I coped with it well."