Yesterday, we covered suggestions that Chelsea may be open to the idea of sending Ruben Loftus-Cheek on another season-long loan at the start of the new campaign and now, that has been backed up with a piece from The Guardian’s Dominic Fifield which adds further fuel to the fire.
Whilst every report you read remains adamant that the Blues are dead set against parting with Ruben on a permanent basis, the mere fact that they’re even open to the possibility of another long-term loan for him, suggests that they have absolutely no idea what a talent they’ve got on their hands.
From a Palace fans’ perspective, their ignorance is welcomed but you do have to wonder what it is their back-room staff saw in the likes of Danny Drinkwater and Tiemoue Bakayoko last summer that they didn’t in Ruben. Many will argue that at 22, he needs further help to develop his game but at the risk of cutting my nose off to spite my face, I can’t see why he wouldn’t slot straight into the Chelsea midfield in August and continue to go from strength to strength as part of their match-day squad.
Quite predictably, Fifield’s piece hints at a long queue of clubs who are already lining up to take the midfielder for the entirety of the 2018/19 campaign, with Palace chief amongst them. There will be plenty who fancy their chances of landing him at this stage but as I highlighted yesterday, Loftus-Cheek’s already positive relationship with the Palace players and coaching staff, not to mention the fact that he can be sure of an immediate starting place at Selhurst Park, should play a major role in any decision he takes between now and pre-season.
We could well find that Maurizio Sarri sees the academy graduate as the young jewel in the Blues’ midfield, given his reputation as a man who prefers to promote from within, rather than dipping into the transfer market for a ready-made star but as we’ve seen so often before during the Roman Abramovic era, the manager is almost never the man who is given the final say when it comes to transfer dealings at Stamford Bridge.
There’s certainly more than a sliver of hope for Palace and Ruben yet.