Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Charly Musonda Jr are two of the best prospects to ever come out of Cobham, not just in recent times, since the increased emphasis on youth development, but perhaps in the history of the Chelsea Academy. Loftus-Cheek has been with Chelsea since the under-8s; Musonda joined as a 15-year-old. Now both 19, they're at the point where the next step taken might be most crucial for their proper development. So far this season, RLC has been training and playing (in limited action) with the first team, mostly, while Charly Jr has been dominating the U21 and U19 competitions. Neither looks to be an ideal situation, which could make a January loan move a sensible option.
According to Matt Hughes from The Times, Loftus-Cheek might be seeking exactly that, as he apparently "grown appalled" at the lack of minutes despite José Mourinho publicly promising him a run of games only a month ago. The report claims that the youngster sees his already slim chances of breaking into first-team line-ups getting smaller with the pressure on Mourinho's job growing significantly over the weeks.
To get the first-team minutes needed to continue his development, Loftus-Cheek would be willing to move to another Premier League club or even certain Championship sides who were previously interested in having the player join their ranks. But the midfielder would need Mourinho's approval to move on loan, and the manager said in previous times that he wanted to keep Loftus-Cheek so he could improve within Chelsea's environment.
As for Charly Musonda, reports from French outlets Foot Mercato and Le 10 Sport claim that the Belgian player has attracted interest from top clubs such as Arsenal, Manchester United, Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain, all of which would want him in a permanent transfer. Which we would be very stupid to agree to. Meanwhile, Ligue 1 sides AS Monaco and Olympique Marseille and Eredivisie giants PSV Eindhoven were keen on acquiring the prospect in a loan deal with an option to buy.
Both reports say that Musonda feels ready to rake in first-team minutes, but the player doesn't think that Chelsea would be able to offer him this opportunity. In front of these rumours, Musonda's father said that a move for his son to a big club would be a great deal not only for the youngster, but also for Chelsea:
"He must absolutely leave Chelsea and, since January, Monaco have been trying to sign him. Monaco are not alone but they truly want him."
"He's not had a specific discussion with Jose Mourinho yet but he's trained regularly with the first team. He often watches his friend Eden Hazard. He plays an important role for Charly with his advice. My son does not want to copy his style but develop his own."
"Chelsea don't want him [to go back to Belgium]. They want Charly to play in a good team in a big league. He must play for a first team. He progresses every day but he must develop further."
"Technically, he's always been good but he still has much work to do on a physical and mental level. He's paying attention to this aspect of football."
-Charly Musonda (father); source: Daily Mail
As worries over the loss of Champions League football and funds grow bigger at Stamford Bridge, many fans were expecting Mourinho to use more youngsters due to poor results and performances from the more senior members of the squad. But with the latter getting a noticeable boost and the manager seemingly doing everything he can to hang onto his job, it's difficult to see an obvious window of opportunity opening up for these promising youngsters to get a chance in Chelsea's first-team, barring injuries or transfers.
We might also say that Mourinho could learn a bit from his peers such as Mauricio Pochettino on his usage of youth players, especially when it comes to talented ones such as Chelsea's. But given the past track record, that's probably not something we should be expecting The Special One to do.