Contribution Post By Dan Parr
It appears, at long last, that the board at Chelsea has finally seen the huge potential of Ruben Loftus-Cheek. It has been widely reported that Ruben will sign a new long-term contract at his boyhood club; combined with Frank Lampard’s arrival, this is incredible news.
Ruben is talented enough to become our post-Hazard talisman, and with Lampard as manager, this is something that seems almost inevitable.
Loftus-Cheek had his long-awaited breakthrough at Stamford Bridge last season, registering 10 goals and 5 assists – impressive statistics in a season that was hampered by injury. It became apparent very quickly that he was by far our best option in the more attacking midfield position, and this still remains true.
The combination of Loftus-Cheek’s height, pace and strength makes him a uniquely dangerous player, and someone that carries a goal threat that only very few midfielders have. His physicality is something we desperately need, and his attacking endeavours are far more dangerous than those of Ross Barkley and Matteo Kovacic.
Frank Lampard’s aims to centre the player in his new Chelsea side is exactly what Loftus-Cheek needs to grow into one of the best players in the world in his position; finally, Ruben will be given this chance that he has waited so long for.
The only frustration that comes with Loftus-Cheek is how long it has taken for him to reach this point. Used incredibly sparingly by Jose Mourinho, Ruben was then often played out of position under Conte, and even then, the starts only came in insignificant cup matches. A less patient player would have moved on in search of more appreciation.
It took an impressive loan at Crystal Palace for those at Chelsea to wake up, and even then, Ruben had to fight his way past the ineffective Ross Barkley; no such problems will be faced with Lampard.
With the news of the new contract, it seems that those highest at the club are ready to invest their confidence on Loftus-Cheek, and to take him to the next level.
Labelled the ‘Lewisham Ballack’, there seems to be a massive feeling of excitement around the player, who has quickly become a fan favourite: coming from the academy, I can’t think of many other players at the club who bring the same type of expectancy that Ruben brings.
Once he overcomes his hugely unfortunate injury, Loftus-Cheek will be able to drive the new era under Frank Lampard at Stamford Bridge, and that inevitable reality is something I thought I’d only be writing in my dreams.