Chelsea’s team selection so far this season has, for the most part, been fairly predictable. Maurizio Sarri has his favourites, and that’s worked out for him thus far. Alvaro Morata was always going to be a regular going forward, Sarri signing Jorginho was destined to come straight into the team, whilst N’Golo Kante’s importance goes without saying.
However, some players have been facing an uncertain fate, particularly with regards to how involved they will be over the course of the season. That’s particularly true of Ruben Loftus-Cheek. After impressing for Crystal Palace last season and becoming a regular for the Eagles, he returned to Chelsea over the summer.
Yet, despite his fine form over the last 12 months, his involvement has been limited thus far, with just a few minutes against Huddersfield under his belt this season.
Unfortunately, though, it doesn’t appear as though many fans are expecting that to change against Newcastle. We recently asked Chelsea fans whether they expect Loftus-Cheek to start against the Magpies, and just 40% of fans voted in favour of the Englishman.
Conversely, a whopping 60% of polled fans aren’t expecting him to play, and that’s reflective of how quickly he’s fallen down the totem poll at Stamford Bridge.
Loftus-Cheek is unfortunate in that there is so much talent ahead of him at present. Ross Barkley has had a decent season so far, whilst there is no doubting the positive influence that Mateo Kovacic had against Arsenal. For the Englishman, then, it’s going to be a case of him needing to make an immediate impact whenever he does get a chance – otherwise he may continue to sit games out.
Despite supporter cynicism, there is no doubting that most would love him to be involved. He’s undoubtedly a fan favourite, owing to his homegrown status, and there is clearly a hope at Chelsea that he can finally break the Blues’ developmental duck.
This is a big decision for Sarri, owing to reports from the Telegraph, suggesting that Loftus-Cheek is frustrated at his lack of recent action.
Clearly, though, supporters aren’t expecting much this weekend, at least.
Chelsea fans – thoughts?
Let us know below!