Why a loan move to Crystal Palace makes sense for Ruben Loftus-Cheek
Loftus-Cheek, 22, has struggled to force his way into Maurizio Sarri’s first-team after returning to Chelsea following a successful season-long loan at Palace.
The midfielder’s form last season earned him a place in Gareth Southgate’s England squad at the World Cup and he featured for his national team in the international friendly with Switzerland during the break.
However, that came after Loftus-Cheek had managed just 33 minutes of Premier League action so far this season. Unfortunately, he picked up a foot injury while on national duty and is out for two weeks.
After excelling on loan at Palace last term, Loftus-Cheek would have expected to break into Chelsea’s first-team under new manager Maurizio Sarri. However, that hasn’t been the case and Loftus-Cheek has had to settle for a place on the bench with just two substitute appearances under his belt.
It is true the 22-year-old faces a stiff competition for a starting spot in the Chelsea team, with the likes of Jorginho, N’Golo Kante, Mateo Kovacic, Cesc Fabregas and Ross Barkley all ahead of him in the pecking order.
Regular playing opportunities look bleak for Loftus-Cheek at the moment and if things don’t change by December, he must leave Chelsea for another loan spell.
The lack of game time for one of the hottest English prospects is a cause for concern. Considering everything, Palace must make a move for Ruben Loftus-Cheek in January. The Eagles made a horrendous start to their season last term but eventually finished 11th in the Premier League under the guidance of Hodgson.
Loftus-Cheek was one of their standout performers in the league last season and he could again turn out to be the player to bring stability to Palace’s midfield.
Palace have endured a wobbly start to the new season with their midfield lacking a creative presence following the departure of Yohan Cabaye this summer. Palace snapped up Max Meyer on a free transfer from Schalke but the German is yet to break into Hodgson’s team.
The midfield is something that needs a bit of strengthening and Loftus-Cheek could be the ideal player to fill the void left by Cabaye. The Englishman would offer the dynamism and thrust from the midfield, while also adding some much-needed creativity to Palace’s midfield – something which has been lacking this season.
Apart from that, the England international will also be able to chip in with goals on regular occasions, with his superb finishing abilities and his smart movement.
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With Chelsea heavily stocked in the midfield department, it is unlikely Loftus-Cheek will get much playing time under Sarri, and another loan move will definitely benefit him. A move back to Palace would be fantastic as the deal would make perfect sense for all the parties involved.