Report: Chelsea to Shelve Aaron Ramsey Interest After Barkley, Loftus-Cheek FormNovember 2, 2018
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:
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:
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:
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:
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.