Ruben Loftus-Cheek has enjoyed a productive season at Selhurst Park and the midfielder is
set to return to Stamford Bridge this summer.
Crystal Palace have benefited from the 22-year old’s dynamism and he’s helped the Eagles steer themselves clear of the relegation zone. As a result of his eye-catching performances in a Palace shirt, he is believed to be one of the club’s top targets this summer.
Following their 2-0 win against already-relegated West Brom, Loftus-Cheek expressed his
gratification to everybody at the club, wishing them “all the best in the future”.
A number of Crystal Palace fans are already imploring their side to splash the cash in order to ensure he returns to South London next year but the lure of playing at Stamford Bridge may persuade him to remain with Chelsea.
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Born in Lewisham, Loftus-Cheek joined the club at the age of eight and enjoyed tremendous success playing for the club’s youth team. According to a study by Betting.net, less than 0.5% of nine-year-olds at club academies become professional footballers, meaning Loftus-Cheek is one of a small group of players who have bucked the trend.
He has constantly improved and progressed with age and he has recently been rewarded with an England call-up. The survey also reveals that players from London stand a greater chance of progression than their counterparts in the South-West or East-Midlands.
He is unlikely to leave West London if he believes there is a chance of breaking into the first
team, although, with the future of manager Antonio Conte unclear, it may be a while until
any decision is made.
He found the back of the net on two occasions for Roy Hodgson’s side and chipped in with
three Premier League assists. He also played at least one key pass per game and, despite
having an injury-hit campaign, he still managed to make 21 appearances.
The Palace manager admitted that “you don’t replace the quality of players like Ruben Loftus-Cheek very easily” before explaining that the club will need to be patient and realistic with its approach to negotiations this summer.
He would provide a useful outlet for Chelsea next season as the club bids to return to the
UEFA Champions League and many Blues fans are keen to see an academy graduate feature regularly in the first team.
Loftus-Cheek has a decision to make this summer but he is likely to bide his time before deciding whether his future lies at Stamford Bridge or Selhurst Park.