Chelsea Transfer News: Ruben Loftus-Cheek Reportedly Likely to Ask for Loan

Gill Clark@@gillclarkyFeatured Columnist INovember 20, 2018

LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 25: Ruben Loftus-Cheek of Chelsea controls the ball during the UEFA Europa League Group L match between Chelsea and FC BATE Borisov at Stamford Bridge on October 25, 2018 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by TF-Images/Getty Images)
TF-Images/Getty Images

Chelsea midfielder Ruben Loftus-Cheek is reportedly likely to ask for a loan move away from Stamford Bridge in the January transfer window.

According to Gary Jacob at The Times, Crystal Palace and Schalke will revive their interest in the 22-year-old, who is concerned his lack of playing time is hurting his England hopes.

Loftus-Cheek's only starts for Chelsea this season have come in the UEFA Europa League. He's managed just three substitute appearances in the Premier League and faces a tough battle to break into the first team with Mateo Kovacic and Ross Barkley ahead of him in the pecking order.

Manager Maurizio Sarri has said the midfielder needs to improve and appeared to rule out a move this winter:

Omnisport @OmnisportNews

Ruben Loftus-Cheek is going nowhere! Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri insists the England midfielder will not be loaned out. #CFC https://t.co/RTri8JljcJ

Loftus-Cheek's international hopes have been affected by his role at Chelsea. He featured four times for England at the 2018 FIFA World Cup but has only managed substitute appearances in friendlies against Switzerland and the USA since.

He could expect to feature more if he were to move away. He enjoyed a successful loan spell with Crystal Palace last season, making 25 appearances in all competitions for the Eagles. His performances helped secure him a place in the England squad for the World Cup.

Manager Roy Hodgson has admitted his team wanted Loftus-Cheek back on loan and has told him "there's always a place for you here," per the Guardian's Dominic Fifield.

The Eagles look in need of strengthening during the winter. They have had a tough start to the season, sitting just three points off the bottom after 12 games played and in 16th place.

If Loftus-Cheek remains at Chelsea for the remainder of the season, he's likely to only predominantly see game time in the Europa League and domestic cup competitions. While Sarri has plenty of midfield options at his disposal, he may want to keep a hold of Loftus-Cheek to allow him the luxury of resting key players.

Loftus-Cheek has caught the eye when he's played this season. He scored a hat-trick against BATE Borisov and scored and produced two assists in the 4-0 win over Burnley. A loan move looks the best option at this point in his career, but it remains to be seen if Sarri can be persuaded to let him go.