His mind may be fully focussed on Chelsea these days but midfielder Ruben Loftus-Cheek still has a major soft spot for the red and blue corner of London, as revealed when he spoke to the press after Sunday’s game between the two sides.
The 22-year-old was left disappointed by not getting off the bench in the Blues 3-1 victory but admitted that the reception he got from the travelling Eagles faithful whilst in front of them during the second half was heartwarming to say the least.
Ruben spent all of last season on loan at Selhurst Park, proving himself to be a more than capable operator at Premier League level. So good were his performances in red and blue that he earned a call-up to Gareth Southgate’s England squad midway through the campaign and was eventually taken as part of the World Cup squad out to Russia too.
Since returning to England, there has been plenty of speculation over a permanent move away from Stamford Bridge but after a difficult start to the season, Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri has now confirmed that Loftus-Cheek will be going nowhere in January, given his ever-growing importance in the current set-up on the Fulham Road.
I’m all for appreciating the players and coaches who’ve done us proud over the years but now feel as though the time is right to move on from our love affair with Ruben, given the infinitesimally small chance of him ever returning to play for us. Obviously, were a move for him feasible, I’d be as excited about it as anyone but with the team desperate for points and the likes of Tottenham and Manchester United next up in the Premier League, I think it’s fair to say that our focus should be on things we can impact in the near to distant future, rather than holding onto a practically impossible dream.
Ruben will always be looked upon with fondness by the Palace faithful but Sunday’s meeting should be used as a moment to draw a line under things for both parties. It was fun while it lasted.