By Alex Chandy
Ruben Loftus-Cheek has opened the door to a potential move this summer following interest from Rafa Benitez – admitting that he’ll happily leave Chelsea if he’s not given a proper chance to play.
Having been linked on several occasions this summer and attempting to sign him on loan over the past few windows, Benítez certainly seems to view Loftus-Cheek as a target this summer – however this one will only be possible if we pursued a permanent deal.
With us having already acquired Kenedy from Chelsea on a season-long loan, Premier League rules mean we would NOT be able to sign another on loan from Stamford Bridge.
That may end up ruling us out, but we’d be wise to spend the Merino and Hayden money (potentially £20m together) in an ambitious attempt to sign him – especially when he sounds open to a move away from Chelsea if he’ll play regularly at Premier League level.
Here’s what he’s said today, suggesting he’s not prepared to sit on the bench next season:
“I’ve had a taste of what Premier League football is like and I don’t want to miss out on that next season.
“I’ll have a little break – not too much or I’ll miss the start of the season, clear my mind and we go from there.
“I just try to do my best every time I play and if he [Sarri] is watching then he’s watching. But for me I don’t think about that, I think of trying to play my best football and improve as much as I can.”
— NUFC Gallowgate (@NUFCgallowgate) July 14, 2018
Despite being a surprise addition, the midfielder showed his worth in recent games as a powerful, balanced and versatile player, putting in some impressive cameos during England’s World Cup campaign.
The youngster is certainly an example that age is just a number. The call from Gareth Southgate came from a run of strong performances under Roy Hodgson’s Crystal Palace. Despite spending a lot of the season out injured, Loftus-Cheek showed his quality and presence on a team in the first and last few games of the 2017/2018 season.
A consistent run in an aspiring team could see Loftus Cheek fill his potential and if anyone, Rafa is the man to guide him in the right direction.
With recent news of fan favourite Isaac Hayden handing in a transfer request and the sales of Merino, Mbemba and Mitrovic set to hands us over £40m, it would seem we need the players for squad depth.
Breaking our transfer record for the Chelsea midfielder would certainly be a big statement for the start of the season.
Merino and potential Hayden money spent on Loftus-Cheek? Oh, yes! pic.twitter.com/DwiyGX5OXZ
— NUFC 360 (@NUFC360) July 14, 2018