Chelsea are supposedly unwilling to even entertain the idea of selling Ruben Loftus-Cheek this summer but Palace do seemingly have hope, alongside Everton and Newcastle of sealing another season-long loan for the central midfielder.
Whilst the 22-year-old is currently fully focussed on England’s World Cup campaign, there has been plenty of talk over his immediate future back in the UK, with Chelsea’s reluctance to part with him on a full-time basis forcing the prospect of a short-term solution back into the conversation.
Although Maurizio Sarri is still widely expected to take over the reins at Stamford Bridge before the new campaign gets underway, the football world is still waiting for an official announcement from the Blues, leaving Ruben and the host of club’s interested in having him on their books next season in a state of enforced limbo.
With Loftus-Cheek himself having spoken at length about his desire to continue playing regularly next term, you can imagine he’ll return to the Fulham Road with a renewed sense of purpose over his role within the Blues’ first-team set-up. Of course, having been on their books since 2004, he’s unlikely to ever fall out with the club’s hierarchy to the extent others have in the past but moving forward, he is now well aware of his options and will happily seek a move away if he does find himself stuck on the bench again in August.
Admittedly, Everton are looked upon as a far bigger club than Palace at face value but following such a successful season in red and blue, you would imagine Ruben would give serious consideration to a return in favour of upping sticks and moving to Merseyside without the same promise of an immediate place in Marco Silva’s starting XI.
On the basis of ability, age and physicality, there is absolutely no doubt in my mind that Loftus-Cheek can play a key role for Chelsea next term, whether or not Sarri and his coaching staff feel the same way remains to be seen.