Chelsea Need To Give Ruben Loftus-Cheek More Game Time!

After their recent Premier League loss to Arsenal, Chelsea must realise that they are in one mighty dogfight to finish inside the league’s all important top four places.

The London giants have missed not playing in the Champions League this term and they’ll also hope that they can challenge for the Europa League title.

The Blues have just brought in Gonzalo Higuain in the hope the Argentine international can bring the goals that the club have struggled to get so far in this campaign.

But another issue has come to light recently for Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri, in the form of his midfield becoming a bit impotent.

Holding midfielder Jorginho has become predictable in the sense opponents realise he’s less effective if you play an attacking midfielder on top of him and close down his space. The Italian will struggle to get the ball forward with the lack of time he’s got and will instead pass the ball sideways or worse still behind him.

Many a pundit and fan will be quick to tell you that N’Golo Kante is being played out of position. Kante is one of the world’s best ball winners but under Sarri the World Cup winner is being asked to play on the right of a midfield trio and he’s tasked with venturing further forward. To be fair, the Frenchman gives his all as you’d expect and has scored three league goals and created two assists. But it still seems a bit forced seeing him on the right trying to break forward.

Real Madrid loanee Mateo Kovacic has been the man used predominantly on the left side of the midfield. The Croatian international has been decent and is very efficient with his passing, he boasts a phenomenal passing success record of 93.7% this season.  Yet the midfielder isn’t dynamic enough and doesn’t seem to offer enough going forward.

If I were Maurizio Sarri, I’d be inclined to give Ruben Loftus-Cheek more starts.

The English international proved he had the skill-set to flourish in the Premier League last season during his loan spell at Crystal Palace. The twenty-three year old scored two league strikes and created three assists last season and his form won him a place in Gareth Southgate’s World Cup squad, making four appearances in Russia.

Chelsea turned down loan offers for the midfielder in the summer and it was expected that’d get a fair crack of the whip at Stamford Bridge during this term.

Unfortunately it’s not really panned out that way, especially not in the Premier League.

The young middle-man has only started once in the top flight since the start of the campaign, that’s been slightly supplemented with eight appearances from the bench.

Ruben has still managed to impress even if his time on the pitch has been sparse. In the league; Loftus-Cheek has scored three goals and has an 83.2% passing success record form 174 passes.

The midfielder seems more comfortable than Jorginho, Kante or Kovacic when going forward and he also gives the side more in terms of height.

Loftus-Cheek has also impressed in the Europa League. According to Whoscored, the England international has a 92.5 passing success rate during his five starts in that competition. He also makes around 1.6 key passes per game, makes on average 55.8 passes per Europa League outing and takes nearly 2 shots per 90 minutes.

Ruben grabbed a hattrick against BATE Borisov but even after that he couldn’t keep his place in the team.

The clever midfielder has missed the last few weeks due to an ankle knock but was back on the bench this past weekend for Chelsea’s FA Cup win against Sheffield Wednesday. He managed to get on for the last twenty-five minutes.

I think that Ruben Loftus-Cheek has made the most of his chances under Sarri and should be rewarded with more starts once he’s fully fit.

As I’ve already stated, Chelsea’s midfield has become predictable recently and they aren’t as effective going forward as they should be. Loftus-Cheek could help improve things for the run-in.

If he can become a first team regular it could also show youth players at Stamford Bridge that there’s a pathway to get into the starting eleven.

Top Premier League stars Romelu Lukaku, Mohamed Salah and Kevin de Bruyne all had to leave the Blues in search of first team football. According to BBC Sport young starlet Callum Hudson-Odoi has now expressed his desire to leave Chelsea and join Bayern Munich as he too searches for more starts.

Sarri stated last month that he’s happy with the midfielder and thinks there’s more to come from him (Via

“Ruben is a very good player and, potentially, he’s a great player,” 

In reality, Ruben Loftus-Cheek could solve Chelsea’s short term and long term issues but Maurizio Sarri needs to believe in him and reward his persistence and his give him the time to flourish.

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