Whilst it may not have the generated the buzz that a big money signing often does, Ruben Lotfus-Cheek’s season-long loan move to Crystal Palace could prove to be an immensely good decision both the Eagles and the man himself, given the Chelsea man’s potential.
Although the youthful midfielder struggled to embed himself fully into Antonio Conte’s first-team plans at Stamford Bridge last season, the hype surrounding his game has led numerous Blues fans to believe that he has a real chance of making the step-up from academy prospect to regular starter on the Fulham Road, with his loan stint at Palace likely to provide the perfect litmus test as to his hopes of making a go of things with the current Premier League champions.
Despite his limited opportunities to impress for Chelsea in recent years, Ruben’s performances at England youth level have promised a lot, with his favoured role just behind a striker bringing more than its fair share of goals for the Three Lions, leading him to be named as the “Player of the Tournament” in the 2016 Toulon tournament. It should, in theory at least, have brought him right into the mix for a prominent role in Conte’s side but with the likes of Kante, Matic and Fabregas immediately ahead of him in the pecking order, it’s not hard to see why he’s been unable to make the breakthrough just yet.
Unquestionably talented and known to be extremely comfortable on the ball, Ruben fits in perfectly with the possession-based style that Frank de Boer favours. Of course, in SE25, he’ll have to battle it out with the likes of Jason Puncheon, Yohan Cabaye, Luka Milivojevic and James McArthur for a starting place but in truth, this should be the ideal switch for a man who desperately needs a manager to show a little faith in him rather than leaving him to twiddle his thumbs on the sidelines.
If you are still feeling a tad sceptical about Loftus-Cheek’s attributes, give the above article a read. I’m sure you’ll be left feeling a great deal happier by the time you finish it.