The Newcastle United fans in the Transfer Tavern have been taking a keen interest in the World Cup this summer in search of players who they would like to see arrive at St James’ Park, and one player who has certainly caught the eye is Chelsea’s Ruben Loftus-Cheek.
Chelsea’s 22-year-old midfielder completed a successful loan spell with Crystal Palace last season in which he impressed fans and pundits alike with his direct style of play and immense technical ability. His performances deservedly earned him a place in Gareth Southgate’s World Cup squad and, although he is not expected to be a starter throughout the tournament, he could have a key role to play.
Loftus-Cheek (valued at £13.5 million by Transfermarkt) came off the bench and changed the dynamic of England’s attack against Tunisia on Monday evening. In the aftermath of proceedings, the midfielder was asked about his future with Chelsea next season and, although he wants to focus on his international responsibilities at this moment in time, he made it abundantly clear that first-team football is his priority, according to a report from The Guardian.
Although the managerial situation at Chelsea will undoubtedly determine whether Loftus Cheek remains at Stamford Bridge next season, Rafa Benitez should keep a very close eye on developments in West London. If Chelsea foolishly decide to let him depart, Newcastle should do everything they can to secure the services of their best playmaker since Yohan Cabaye left the club.
Cabaye and Loftus-Cheek are two completely different types of playmakers; the Frenchman prefers to sit deep and utilise his extensive range of passing, whereas Loftus-Cheek has a markedly more direct style and attempts to hurt the opposition with his technical quality and physical presence. Fundamentally, though, Loftus Cheek is a playmaker in the sense that when he has possession of the ball, the attack comes alive.
With Loftus-Cheek and Jonjo Shelvey in midfield, Newcastle would have the makings of a formidable partnership who would undoubtedly enable the Magpies to control proceedings against teams outside of the top-six next season, so Benitez must bring Chelsea’s outcast to Tyneside this summer if he eventually decides to embark on a new challenge after the World Cup.
Newcastle fans – thoughts? Let us know below!