On the one hand, the arrivals of world class players like Timo Werner, Kai Havertz and Thiago Silva stand as incredibly exciting for supporters going forward. However, it will also see a number of Frank Lampard’s previous squad struggling for any meaningful game time.
One player that falls into that category is Ruben Loftus-Cheek. The 24-year-old has suffered with a number of injuries over recent campaigns and limited game time so far this season suggests he isn’t at the forefront of Lampard’s plans.
According to the Guardian, a series of clubs are interested in loaning Loftus-Cheek for the 2020/21 campaign including Aston Villa and West Ham.
So, would a loan move be the best option for him at this stage in his career? Below, we explore three options that Chelsea and Loftus-Cheek have available right now.
Reports of multiple Premier League clubs being interested in Loftus-Cheek shouldn’t be a surprise.
The 24-year-old’s true potential probably would see him in contention of a starting place at Stamford Bridge but several factors suggest that a loan move could be best right now. That argument is particularly strengthened by Loftus-Cheek’s need to play minutes to find his full potential.
A season on loan elsewhere in the Premier League without injury could see him progress going into the peak years of his career. Like he had done at Crystal Palace, developing elsewhere could help him perform consistently in west London.
Finding the right loan move
On the topic of loan moves, it is equally important for the midfielder to be loaned out correctly.
The top six in the Premier League very rarely loan out players unless they see a genuine development opportunity for a player. Loftus-Cheek excelled at Crystal Palace under Roy Hodgson and a similar mid-table loan could be the best move for him this season.
From a tactical point of view, the dynamic nature of his attributes suggests that being involved in a relegation battle may not be the most beneficial move. Therefore, a move to either Aston Villa or West Ham would depend on how they fare in the league this season when it comes style of play to allow Loftus-Cheek to reach his potential.
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Permanent move elsewhere?
Considering that Loftus-Cheek is both 24 and at a club willing to spend big money on transfers, his long-term future at Stamford Bridge could be worth looking at.
Lampard is yet to have the time needed to indicate a defined style of play which means that Loftus-Cheek may still be part of his vision going forward. However, there are surely only so many loan moves and injuries that the midfielder can endure before starting a fresh challenge elsewhere.
From Chelsea’s point of view, too, selling Loftus-Cheek in this window or after a successful run or games could see them get the maximum price they are likely to achieve.
With such huge competitions and ongoing concerns about the midfielder’s injury record, the Blues may need to take stock in the next 12 months over his future.