Ruben Loftus-Cheek had been looked upon as a doubt to take part in Palace’s game with Everton last Saturday following his exploits with England but the Chelsea loanee ended up starting the game and winning Man of the Match in the middle of the park.
Whilst Eagles fans everywhere worried when Gareth Southgate took him off during the first half of England’s game with Brazil last week, it really does look to have been nothing more than a precaution, with the man himself speaking at length about the methods he’s put in place to manage what is a recurring long-term issue.
Having moved to Selhurst Park on a loan deal from Chelsea, the 21-year-old is all too happy to discuss the lack of regular first-team football he’s taken part in during the early stage of his career. After signing up for a stint in SE25 this term, he’s already proven that the Blues were foolish not to incorporate him in their side from an early age, impressing in almost every game he’s taken part in.
Whilst avid followers of Chelsea have been well aware of Ruben’s lower back problem for years now, the vast majority of casual observers and Palace fans are unlikely to realise how long he’s been suffering with it.
The demands placed upon his body now that he’s playing week after week were always going to present one or two conundrums but he appears to have coped superbly since his early withdrawal against Brazil, which bodes well for the busy Christmas run that we’re just about to embark upon.
If he continues to play as well as he has been of late, you’d assume that Chelsea would want him back as soon as possible but after gaining so many plaudits in the months since making the switch to south London, he may be open to the idea of making his stay a permanent one if we do in fact manage to survive the drop in May.
It’s a question for later rather than right now but I certainly wouldn’t write it off completely just yet, he seems to be loving every second of his time with us.