Following Crystal Palace’s victory over Brighton boss Roy Hodgson has admitted that he remains extremely keen on the idea of signing Chelsea loanee Ruben Loftus-Cheek permanently over the summer.
Having returned from injury to start against Bournemouth the weekend before last, Ruben went on to play a starring role in the Eagles 3-2 win over their south coast rivals, prompting the gaffer to tip him for a recall to Gareth Southgate’s squad ahead of the World Cup, whilst also talking up the chances of Palace making a move for him once survival has been secured.
To Loftus-Cheek’s credit, he would not be drawn one way or the other when being asked about his future after the game but in the simple act of refusing to rule out the possibility of a permanent move to SE25, the Chelsea man is giving an insight into his frame of mind heading into the final few weeks of the season.
After playing nothing more than a bit-part role at Stamford Bridge for the entirety of his professional career, Ruben himself has been open about the buzz he’s had from playing a pivotal role at Premier League level from week to week. Of course, should he decide to leave Chelsea and join us, his chances of challenging for trophies year after year will be altered but after struggling for first-team opportunities for so long, it sounds as though he likes what he’s seen on the other side of the garden fence.
If Gareth Southgate does decide to include him in England’s squad for the World Cup, I see no reason why Ruben wouldn’t take the tournament by storm, which in all honesty may harm our chances of signing him on a full-time basis but with so much water set to pass under the bridge between now and then, it seems silly to worry too much about it.
With just four games left to go in Palace’s Premier League season, last weekend’s win over Brighton feels like a real watershed moment for Roy Hodgson and the club as a whole. The mere fact that the boss felt comfortable enough to talk about the possibility of bringing Ruben in over the summer says a great deal about his trust in us holding onto our top flight status, let’s just hope that Abramovic’s Blues are willing to open negotiations when the time comes.