By Dominic Toner
Chelsea are contemplating sending Ruben Loftus-Cheek on loan in January, according to a report.
The Evening Standard claim that the Blues are considering loaning out the 20-year-old to help him continue his development.
It is believed that the young midfielder will struggle to force his way into Antonio Conte’s side this season and could benefit from a spell away from Stamford Bridge.
The Evening Standard states that “Chelsea will not sell him but may decide that a short-term loan will help improve his development.”
Loftus Cheek is currently battling to earn a place in a competitive squad, making just three appearances in all competitions this season.
Italian manager Conte has settled on midfield duo N’Golo Kante and Nemanja Matic in his side, with 21-year-old Nathaniel Chalobah often being used off the bench.
Loftus-Cheek has played just once in the Premier League this campaign and a fourth-round elimination to West Ham in the EFL Cup has seriously dented his game time.
The central midfielder has made 24 senior appearances for the Blues and is regarded as one of the young talents in the squad.
He was used in a more advanced position in pre-season by Conte and showed his eye for goal, but is yet to force his way into the team.
Loftus-Cheek is an important member of England’s Under-21s side and has made 15 appearances for them, scoring five goals in the process.
His current Chelsea deal does not expire until 2021 and he could be looking to obtain regular football to develop his game.
Football Insider verdict:
Chelsea should give the green light to allow Ruben Loftus-Cheek a loan spell away from Stamford Bridge in January. The midfielder has shown a maturity in the senior side when given the chance, but is one of few Chelsea youngsters who have not been sent out on loan for regular football. Nathaniel Chalobah gained vital experience during his time with Napoli and is now an important member in Antonio Conte’s squad, something Loftus-Cheek should look to emulate. Chelsea are well stocked with midfield options and should allow this emerging youngster to develop his game with regular football elsewhere.
In other Chelsea news, this is why the club would be insane to let this midfielder quit in January.