Ruben Loftus-Cheek has put in a number of extremely impressive performances since joining Crystal Palace on loan from Chelsea over the summer, leading to two ex-Liverpool players in the shape of Paul Walsh and Phil Thompson talking up the chances of the 21-year-old playing in the Reds’ midfield next season.
Having become a key part of the Palace midfield since August, there are thousands of Eagles fans who are desperately hoping to see the club convince him to put pen to paper on a permanent contract in SE25 next summer but by the looks of it, we’ll have bundles of competition for his signature from across the division.
Given his age, size and skill set, it’s difficult to imagine a midfield over than Manchester City’s which he wouldn’t immediately improve. The dynamism and quality he shows with a ball at his feet really is a sign of class, giving him every right to knock on Antonio Conte’s door at the end of this campaign and ask for assurances over his first-team future at Stamford Bridge.
Plenty of the Blues’ faithful are already questioning the club’s decision to splash out £40 million on Tiemoue Bakayoko in July, when a younger and arguably equally talented player was sitting underneath their noses in the shape of Loftus-Cheek. Indeed, the player himself has spoken of his desire to escape west London in an effort to secure first-team football, with the smile on his face since joining Palace acting as a testament to the confidence and love the club have shown him as a collective entity.
Whilst we can’t be sure that the emotional connection he’s clearly building with us will count for a great deal next summer, I’m sure we’ll feature in his thoughts if he in fact open to a permanent switch away from Stamford Bridge. Of course, Liverpool’s potential interest may muddy the waters somewhat but for clubs of that size, the pool of potential recruits is vast and varied during each window. Should we be able to sway Ruben towards a full-time move, I’d be happy for those behind the scenes to spend a huge chunk of our summer budget to make it a reality.