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Ruben Loftus-Cheek Says He Would Consider Chelsea Transfer for Regular Football

Matt JonesFeatured ColumnistJune 21, 2018

SAINT PETERSBURG, RUSSIA - JUNE 15:  Ruben Loftus-Cheek of England talks to the media during the England Press Conference on June 15, 2018 in Saint Petersburg, Russia.  (Photo by Alex Morton/Getty Images)
Alex Morton/Getty Images

Chelsea midfielder Ruben Loftus-Cheek has said he may have to consider leaving the club this summer if he doesn't get the game time he needs. 

Loftus-Cheek spent the 2017-18 season on loan at Crystal Palace and excelled, forcing his way into the England squad for the 2018 FIFA World Cup on the back of some tremendous displays.

When asked about his prospects for next season, Loftus-Cheek said that, at 22, he needs to be at a club with whom he can get regular minutes, per Matt Law of the Daily Telegraph.

"I want to play," he said. "I want to play as much as I can. And even this past season just gone, I didn't play as much as I would have liked to because of injuries. So I still feel I need a proper season of playing, wherever it is. But I'm just not thinking about whether I'm going to play at Chelsea right now. I'm focused on the tournament."

England's midfielder Ruben Loftus-Cheek (R) vies with Costa Rica's midfielder David Guzman during the International friendly football match between England and Costa Rica at Elland Road, Leeds in northern England on June 7, 2018. - England won the game 2-
PAUL ELLIS/Getty Images

Loftus-Cheek made his first appearance at the World Cup in England's win over Tunisia, entering the game as a late substitute and helping the team grab a late winner.

According to Dominic Fifield of the Guardian, with Dele Alli a doubt for Sunday's game against Panama, Loftus-Cheek is in line for a start following his impressive cameo. Scouted Football broke down how well the youngster played when he did emerge:

Scouted Football @ScoutedFtbl

RLC is Gareth Southgate’s favourite, Gareth Southgate’s secret weapon. We’ve tried to tell you before. https://t.co/9TN8lCVihr

While last season was punctuated by injury issues, there were many times when Loftus-Cheek showed his class for Palace.

The Blues academy prospect has many assets, as he's a gifted technical player, dynamic and strong running with the ball. In 24 top-flight appearances, he also showed he could be productive, contributing to five goals from midfield.

Loftus-Cheek impressed for Palace last season.
Loftus-Cheek impressed for Palace last season.Clive Rose/Getty Images

Loftus-Cheek has never looked daunted when stepping on to the field for England. As these figures highlight, he utilises the ball well:

WhoScored.com @WhoScored

Ruben Loftus-Cheek: Completed 100% of his passes against Costa Rica (34/34) #ENGCRC https://t.co/IUOMDsK5U0

Chelsea will have a big decision to make regarding the player they were happy to farm out temporarily last summer.

Last season, the Blues signed Tiemoue Bakayoko, Danny Drinkwater and Ross Barkley to bolster their midfield. However, some Chelsea supporters would argue Loftus-Cheek has more to offer than all of those players.

Joseph Musker of Sync Sports Group noted how costly some of those acquisitions were too:

Joseph Musker @JosephMusker

Chelsea actually spent all that money on Drinkwater and Barkley when they already had Loftus-Cheek. Madness.

Loftus-Cheek's issue may not necessarily be competition. Rather, there is still managerial uncertainty at Stamford Bridge. According to Law, Maurizio Sarri is set to replace Antonio Conte as head coach and is targeting Nice midfielder Jean Michael Seri.

The time appears to be now for Loftus-Cheek, though, especially given he's shown he can excel in both the Premier League and on the international stage. Despite the natural affinity he will have with Chelsea, it would be no shock if he were to lose patience with being on the fringes.