The Chelsea fans in the Transfer Tavern have been delighted with the recent emergence of Ruben Loftus-Cheek. The Englishman impressed on loan at Crystal Palace last season, and he has looked good so far during his stint with England at the World Cup.
Naturally, then, the next step should be a return to Chelsea – which is good news for the club.
However, it might not be good news for everyone at Stamford Bridge, as our landlord thinks that it could spell the end of the road for 24-year-old midfielder Ross Barkley.
Barkley struggled to get much game time at Chelsea last season without Loftus-Cheek at the club, and that problem is only going to worsen when he returns to SW6.
After all, the two players share a very similar playstyle. Both place a lot of emphasis on dribbling and technique, and they both have it in droves. They’re both able to dribble past player with ease and find a pass or take a shot, and those are key components to their respective games.
The issue for Barkley, though, is that he’s behind Loftus-Cheek in terms of ability. The latter was able to do that with ease last season, yet Barkley has stagnated over the last couple of years. Naturally, then, it’s hard to dispute the notion that Barkley should be behind Loftus-Cheek in the pecking order. That’s without throwing age into the mix, too, as the former Everton man is two years older than his midfield rival – and so Loftus-Cheek has even more room in which to grow and develop. Not to mention, he was far more consistent last season than Barkley was.
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Realistically, there isn’t going to be room for both players – given that Chelsea often play with just two central midfielders. Chelsea must consider the future of Barkley, because if he’s sold, it’s unlikely that they will make a loss on him. He’s only going to damage Loftus-Cheek’s chances as time goes on.
Chelsea fans – thoughts?
Let us know below!