Three things have dominated Ruben Loftus-Cheek’s narrative at Chelsea. The first is his talent. The second is his lack of playing time. The third is his history of injuries.
The first hasn’t changed. The second was about to, with twice-weekly games looming on Chelsea’s schedule and RLC sure to see extended action.
But the third has come back to jinx him. Again.
The Sun are reporting that Ruben suffered a foot injury late in his appearance for England against Switzerland this week. They claim he’ll be out for two weeks, which rules him out of Thursday’s clash against PAOK Salonika in the Europa League and our Carabao Cup match against Liverpool a week from Wednesday.
Last season Loftus-Cheek missed sixteen games in all competitions with thigh, groin and ankle problems. And before that he was unavailable for selection at Chelsea because of a chronic back injury.
For a player who was relying on the upcoming opportunities to cement his place at Chelsea — or leave on a January loan — the timing couldn’t be worse.
The January loan destination would probably be Crystal Palace, the scene of last season’s success story. Roy Hodgson, who lobbied hard for RLC at the end of last season, would still welcome him.
“I think I have answered this question before. He is a Chelsea player, and I have got no idea if he is going to be available in January, so what can I look at?
“If the question is should Ruben Loftus-Cheek be made available in January, would Crystal Palace be interested in loaning him again, then the answer is yes.”
While going to Palace would guarantee Ruben playing time, it would be another blow to his hopes of ever become a starter at Chelsea — possibly a fatal one.
Let’s hope that The Sun are guilty of premature publication and that when Maurizio Sarri speaks in Friday’s pre-Cardiff City press conference, he’ll have better news.