Ruben Loftus-Cheek's Potential Loan Destinations - Ranked

29 September 2020 08:30

It's easy to forget just how good Ruben Loftus-Cheek was during the 2018/19 season.

Grasping every opportunity that came his way, he netted ten goals and provided five assists in all competitions for Chelsea despite making the majority of his 40 appearances from the bench.

His impressive form came off the back of making four appearances, including three starts, in England's run to the 2018 World Cup semi finals in Russia. The Blues' academy graduate was tipped for big things after his development rapidly progressed, but a ruptured Achilles tendon put an abrupt stop to that.

Loftus-Cheek secured his place in Gareth Southgate's squad that summer after a successful loan spell at Crystal Palace and his current boss at Stamford Bridge, Frank Lampard, thinks another spell away from west London could be the best way for the 24-year-old to rediscover his best form.

Here, 90min assess his possible destinations, ranking them by suitably because why ever not.

1. West Ham

David Moyes' West Ham looked as though they were in turmoil at the start of the season. A lack of additions at the London Stadium and the surprise sale of academy graduate Grady Diangana had the Hammers faithful worried.

However, a promising performance away to Arsenal was followed up by a 4-0 thrashing of Wolves and, for now, the Hammers' critics have been silenced. How long that mood lasts for though is anyone's guess, and added strength in depth is definitely still needed in east London.

David Sullivan recently stated he didn't regret selling 22-year-old Diangana as Moyes now has the ability to bring in his own players, and Loftus-Cheek would be a player who could help bolster the club's central midfield options.

Mark Noble isn't getting any younger, and Declan Rice is a target for Loftus-Cheek's current employers Chelsea - so he'd likely be a regular if that deal went through. But with Tomas Soucek impressing, he may not complement the marauding Czech's box-to-box nature and might not be such a good fit.

Suitability: 4/10

2. Leeds United

The Premier League new boys have been active in the transfer market already this summer as they look to secure their place in the top-flight for years to come. Bayern Munich's Michael Cuisance is close to joining Marcelo Bielsa's side, but their stalled move for Udinese's Rodrigo De Paul has left the door open for another midfielder to come in.

A loan move for Loftus-Cheek may just fit the bill if Bielsa wants to move again for De Paul next summer, and the Englishman would certainly benefit from 12 months under the Argentine's tutelage.

Leeds don't seem to be struggling for goals this term after netting eight in their first three games, but extra firepower is always a bonus - and the Whites are on the lookout for new additions.

“There is likely to be a couple of incorporations into the team, but in the case that they don’t come, we will adapt," revealed Bielsa. Loftus Cheek isn't known to be a target, would fit in nicely to a side who stroke the ball around superbly.

Suitability: 6/10

3. Southampton

Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg, Harrison Reed and Mario Lemina have all departed Southampton's midfield over this summer. Although Reed and Lemina were also out on loan last season, Hojbjerg played 38 times for the Saints in all competitions throughout 2019/20 and has left a sizeable hole in the middle of the pitch.

Ibrahim Sangare was a target to fill the void but he's since moved to PSV, leaving Ralph Hasenhuttl to search elsewhere for a midfielder capable of arriving on a meagre budget.

The Austrian is confident that incomings will flow in, recently saying: "I know we will get players in. Now comes the moment where some good opportunities are coming up. "Our number-one choice, it may not be so easy to get now, but there are some other alternatives coming to us, loan or permanent."

The south coast club were also linked with Everton's Tom Davies but the Toffees weren't interested in letting the 22-year-old leave on loan, an issue that wouldn't occur with Loftus-Cheek. Not only will Chelsea let him go, he'd be a consistent starter in a side playing an entertaining brand of football.

Suitability: 6/10

4. Aston Villa

Aston Villa have made a strong start to the new season after scraping survival on the last day of the 2019/20 season.

Two wins and two clean sheets indicate Dean Smith's summer additions of Ollie Watkins, Emiliano Martinez, Matty Cash and Bertrand Traore have improved the squad, but the former Brentford boss is not done there.

“Midfield is an area we’re looking at where we feel we lack numbers." Smith admitted previously. “There are many players who are speculated upon all the time and we are looking to add more to the squad."

A move to Villa would allow Loftus-Cheek the freedom to roam forward, with Douglas Luiz and John McGinn likely starters in deeper lying roles. That would suit the former Palace loanee well, though he's not necessarily the club's number one target - amid rumoured interest in teammate Ross Barkley.

You feel if he does move to Villa Park, Jack Grealish will feel the weight of expectation come off of his shoulders - which could be great news for all parties.

Suitability: 8/10

Source: 90min