Report: Chelsea to Shelve Aaron Ramsey Interest After Barkley, Loftus-Cheek Form

Tom Sunderland@@TomSunderland_Featured ColumnistNovember 2, 2018

LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 31: Aaron Ramsey of Arsenal during the Carabao Cup Fourth Round match between Arsenal and Blackpool at Emirates Stadium on October 31, 2018 in London, England. (Photo by Marc Atkins/Getty Images)
Marc Atkins/Getty Images

Chelsea will reportedly rethink their interest in Arsenal ace Aaron Ramsey after the recent spike in form of Blues midfielders Ross Barkley and Ruben Loftus-Cheek. 

Ramsey's contract at the Emirates Stadium is due to expire in June, leading to a rush of supposed Premier League suitors, but the Daily Star's Paul Brown wrote Chelsea may no longer be as eager to recruit the Welshman.

The impact of manager Maurizio Sarri appears to have had a positive impact on Barkley in particular after he's scored three and assisted three in his last three league games. Loftus-Cheek, meanwhile, dazzled with a UEFA Europa League hat-trick against BATE Borisov last Thursday.

Sky Sports' Lyall Thomas reported on Wednesday that Arsenal had communicated to Ramsey he would not be receiving another contract offer before his deal expires.

Despite the fact a 2019 departure now looks all but sealed for Ramsey, he has been described by Arsenal manager Unai Emery as an important part of the team. Speaking to Sky Sports after Wednesday's 2-1 Carabao Cup win over Blackpool, he said:

Sky Sports Premier League @SkySportsPL

"I want his focus on to help us" Unai Emery praises Aaron Ramsey after a tough week for the Arsenal midfielder. Read: https://t.co/xmvxUianEt https://t.co/PHTxdx0AhO

Competition for places in Chelsea's midfield is already tough. N'Golo Kante and £50 million summer signing Jorginho—with whom Sarri working alongside at Napoli—are effectively guaranteed to start as two of the three men in midfield.

That leaves one spot to fight for in the team's traditional setup, with Barkley and Loftus-Cheek jostling against the likes of Cesc Fabregas, Danny Drinkwater and Mateo Kovacic, who is on loan from Real Madrid.

Assistant manager Gianfranco Zola recently touched on the quality of improvement among some players at Stamford Bridge since the new manager arrived, per Goal's Nizaar Kinsella:

Nizaar Kinsella @NizaarKinsella

Zola on Sarri: "The team is following his advice very well. The players are getting benefits from what he is doing. Look at Ross Barkley and Ruben for example, other players are doing very well too and finding benefits. It is a good work environment." #CFC #DCFC

Of those assets, Barkley has enjoyed the fastest rise this season and made nine Premier League appearances in two-and-a-half months under Sarri. He only managed two top-flight outings over the second half of last season after he was signed by Sarri's predecessor, Antonio Conte.

The system is suited well to his talents, it seems, and the England international now appears to be back on track to realising the potential he displayed at Everton, per Sky Sports MNF:

Sky Sports MNF @SkySportsMNF

"If he becomes better mentally - as you would expect playing for a big team and achieving big things - I think he could become a must for the England team." Ross Barkley could become @England 'must', says @Carra23: https://t.co/oGxjQ8cYop https://t.co/g3q56W7l8C

Loftus-Cheek joined Chelsea's academy in 2004 and could be a rare homegrown success in the Blues first team. He spent last season on loan at Crystal Palace, and the BT Sport team recently debated whether the 22-year-old should leave the west London club, via presenter Jake Humphrey:

Jake Humphrey @mrjakehumphrey

Fascinating post-match as two men with almost 100 England caps break down where Ruben Loftus-Cheek goes from here... @rubey_lcheek https://t.co/Xwgajeh7Ki

Both players are different to Ramsey in style and approach, but there's already stiff competition for places at the Bridge, so Arsenal's departing man may be considered too much of a luxury to invest in.