Fresh off the back of an impressive performance against Peterborough, the future of Ruben Loftus-Cheek remains uncertain – and the Chelsea fans in the Transfer Tavern don’t know what to think about it…
A move to Brighton has reportedly been on the cards for a while, and given that Chelsea have not denied the reports – it appears safe to assume that a deal could still go ahead.
It will be a disappointing outcome for the player that has been touted as the jewel in Chelsea’s developmental crown should it happen, and for the Blues and Loftus-Cheek himself – there is no doubting that it would be the wrong decision.
Brought into the Chelsea first team by Jose Mourinho, a manager that often refuses to utilise young players unless he has no other choice, the setting for Loftus-Cheek to develop was good – but under Conte, his game time has reduced significantly.
A fine performance against Peterborough in the FA Cup, though, could signal positive things to come – and Conte must recognise that.
Chelsea aren’t blessed with midfield depth. In fact, the trio of Fabregas, Matic and Kante are Conte’s only 3 senior options – with both Loftus-Cheek and Chalobah waiting in the wings. Sure, Conte could go and spend £40 million on a new midfielder – but what would be the point? Matic and Kante are, undoubtedly, his first choice midfielders – so why spend so much money for a bit of additional depth?
For a player of just 20-years-old, Ruben Loftus-Cheek comes across as the perfect Premier League central midfielder. He is tall, well built and comfortable on the ball – everything that Cesc Fabregas is not. Now sure, Fabregas and Loftus-Cheek have very different playstyles, but the notion still stands. Loftus-Cheek can offer something that nobody else in the Chelsea midfield can – powerful, combative attacking midfield play.
Progressing young players is undoubtedly part of Antonio Conte’s remit, and so far – he has done well. Nathaniel Chalobah has got a bit of game time, whilst Ola Aina has also been introduced. But Ruben Loftus-Cheek is one of Chelsea’s most talented homegrown talents, and he should be getting a clear route into the first team.
At the end of the day, Conte has 2 options. He either spends a lot of money for what would only be a minor upgrade, whilst also sending Loftus-Cheek on loan – or he holds onto the young English midfielder.
When it comes to common sense, financial gain and the focus on youth progression – there is truly only 1 sensible answer.
Chelsea fans – thoughts?
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