Jose Mourinho and AS Roma plan raid on Chelsea for Ruben Loftus-Cheek ahead of January transfer window
According to the Italian news outlet La Gazzetta dello Sport via Football Italia (h/t Football.London), Jose Mourinho and AS Roma are planning a raid on Chelsea for Ruben Loftus-Cheek ahead of the January transfer window. He is on the shortlist alongside two other targets who have been eyed to boost the squad.
Manchester United academy starlet Charlie Wellens and Arsenal’s Ainsley Maitland-Niles are the two other players eyed by Mourinho. The Blues have previously sold Tammy Abraham to Roma, and the latter would hope to take that connection to their advantage to facilitate another transfer.
However, looking at the injury crisis that Thomas Tuchel’s side have suffered so far this season, it wouldn’t be wise of the club to facilitate a move next month. Not to mention, the current Covid situation asks for maximum depth in the team as there is always the possibility of players getting affected by it.
Loftus-Cheek to leave?
We are competing in multiple competitions this season which further makes the case that the Englishman should not be sold. Even if we are considering selling him, it should only be at the end of the 2021-22 season. By that time, our loanees would also return to the team, which would reduce the impact of his departure.
Conor Gallagher and Billy Gilmour would need spots in the line-up, and Loftus-Cheek could be deemed dispensable for that reason. However, that is something far ahead in the future, and things could change in different ways by the time this campaign ends.
Jorginho and N’Golo Kante cannot keep playing at their peak forever and we would have to plan for life past them. As such, it may not be wise to sell the England star if he performs well at Stamford Bridge. Before the recent injury, he had attained regular game time and was also assisted by the crisis in midfield.
It would, however, be a surprise if 25-year-old Loftus-Cheek actually manages to become a starter for Tuchel’s side at this stage of his career. He has failed to build on the early promise he showed as a youngster but has fought his way to become an important squad player at the moment.
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The England midfielder would also need to step up his game moving forward as the competition for the midfield spots would reach newer heights next term. The incoming loanees would be a part of it as they have impressed this campaign at their respective clubs.
But Loftus-Cheek’s current situation can easily be assessed in two broad boxes. For his own self, playing for a manager that wants to sign indicates more playing minutes over there. But for the club itself, selling a first-team star in January without a replacement in mind could prove to be risky going forward. A move in the summer would make more sense for us.
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