The Chelsea squad, despite its lack of success last term, is up there with Europe’s best. Some of the Premier League’s best players strut their stuff at Stamford Bridge every other week, and that makes picking the team every weekend very difficult. There is quality talent for every position, and that’s particularly true of the midfield. One particularly tough call that will likely need to be made next season is between Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Tiemoue Bakayoko. The former is set to return from a loan at Crystal Palace, and his form last term indicates that he deserves a role in the team. However, will he be able to match Bakayoko, who Chelsea signed from Monaco just 12 months ago?
Ruben Loftus-Cheek fell just short of Bakayoko in terms of appearances last season, but that’s about where Bakayoko’s superiority ends.
It’s fair to say that the Frenchman didn’t have the best season last term, picking up just two goals and two assists in the English top flight. Loftus-Cheek, meanwhile, picked up two goals and three assists – in five less games. Thus, it’s clear that he’s more effective offensively than Bakayoko.
Furthermore, in terms of key passes, Loftus-Cheek won again – picking up 10 more than Bakayoko.
Let’s not forget, too, Loftus-Cheek is younger than the Frenchman, and so he is likely to improve. Bakayoko, of course, is just a year older, but he’s had ample opportunity to impress for the Blues over the last year.
Furthermore, Loftus-Cheek achieved all of this whilst at lowly Crystal Palace. Imagine what he can do when supplying the likes of Eden Hazard and co at Stamford Bridge.
Their stats aren’t dramatically different, but Loftus-Cheek should be the man that is given a chance.
Forgetting price-tags for a minute, the simple notion of Chelsea beginning to utilise a homegrown talent is something that cannot be undervalued.
He’s also only going to get better, and so the potential here is infinite. His form at the World Cup will have done him no harm, too.
Chelsea fans – thoughts?
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