Chelsea Reportedly Reject January Loan Bid from West Ham for Ruben Loftus-Cheek

Matt JonesFeatured ColumnistNovember 7, 2018

BURNLEY, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 28: Ruben Loftus-Cheek of Chelsea during the Premier League match between Burnley FC and Chelsea FC at Turf Moor on October 28, 2018 in Burnley, United Kingdom. (Photo by Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images)
Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images

West Ham United have reportedly had a January loan bid for Chelsea's Ruben Loftus-Cheek rejected. 

According to Tony Banks of the Daily Mirror, the Hammers are keen to strengthen their midfield in the midseason window and have asked about the possibility of signing the England man on a temporary basis.

However, it's suggested Blues boss Maurizio Sarri will not entertain any bids for Loftus-Cheek, that despite the fact he has yet to start a Premier League game for the team all season.

"West Ham also tried to capture powerful academy graduate Loftus-Cheek on loan last summer but got knocked back by their London rivals then as well," said Banks.

Sarri spoke about rumours linking Loftus-Cheek with a January move last week, making it clear the 22-year-old is part of his plans: 

Goal UK @GoalUK

❌ Loftus-Cheek will not be going out on loan. 💪 Can he become a regular in this Chelsea team? https://t.co/iScktqqz8Q

Loftus-Cheek will be frustrated by the current situation with the Blues, although he has shown what he can do in some recent outings. In the UEFA Europa League he netted an excellent hat-trick against BATE Borisov and then followed that up with a goal against Burnley as a substitute.

Still, it appears as though he is down Sarri's midfield pecking order. So far this term Mateo Kovacic, N'Golo Kante and Ross Barkley have been jostling for the two spots ahead of playmaker Jorginho in the middle of the pitch.

It's those positions in a more advanced midfield berth that seem to suit Loftus-Cheek, and given Kante, Kovacic and Barkley have all played well this season, he may have to wait for some time yet before getting a prolonged run in the team.

Despite that, he's still managed to make a landmark contribution to the team this season: 

Liam Twomey @liam_twomey

A great stat from the font of Chelsea knowledge that is @RickGlanvill: Loftus-Cheek is the first homegrown player to score a hat-trick for the Blues senior side since Clive Walker in 1982 #cfc

The physical presence and technical ability Loftus-Cheek has makes him such an asset to the team. It means that when he does get a grip on a game he is capable of having a major impact.

The youngster has shown versatility needed to play on either flank or in a number of midfield roles. But all the indications are that he will be most effective from a central area when given space to surge into.

Scouted Football summed up how he was able to dominate the match against BATE: 

Scouted Football @ScoutedFtbl

Loftus-Cheek absolutely dominated the left half-space with his dynamism: quick, efficient distribution, great progressive ball-carrying, and a big penalty box presence. It was only BATE, but he made the most of a rare opportunity - what more can he do? https://t.co/RkLhoRCjzG

West Ham would benefit from having this type of player around, although the chances of them landing Loftus-Cheek do appear slim. As the calendar condenses in the buildup to the festive period, the midfielder will be hoping that opportunities in the Premier League come about more often.

In the meantime, it's imperative the England international continues performing in the Europa League and Carabao Cup. If he does, Loftus-Cheek should get his chance when the Blues are besieged by any injuries or suspensions in midfield positions.