Ruben Loftus-Cheek played more football this past season than in any other season of his professional career so far, but evidently that doesn’t necessarily guarantee him a spot on the team next season.
Of course, Ruben probably was not really expected to be this involved in the first place. He began he season as, at best fifth-, if not sixth-choice in midfield, but injuries or poor form for those initially ahead of him, not to mention his own versatility, saw him match his career high in appearances with 40 and set a new career high in total minutes with 2160 — a respectable total, especially given his own long history of injuries.
The measured success of this season does give hope that he’s now fully recovered from his devastating Achilles injury three years ago, and while he may never quite live up to our once very lofty expectations, he could yet become make an impact in a top tier midfield. He’s just about the right age, 26, to enter the prime of his career. He does have two years left on his contract, but a change of scenery can often be helpful in that regard as well.
And so, enter Inter Milan, the latest Serie A team to be linked with Loftus-Cheek, after Lazio, Roma, and probably a couple others I’m forgetting. According to Gazzetta dello Sport (via Sempre Inter), Inter are “thinking about a move” for RLC to be the “final piece of the puzzle” in midfield. Inter are of course primary interested in a loan-to-buy arrangement, even with Chelsea supposedly setting a bargain €20m asking price.
Chelsea have some puzzling of our own to do in midfield as well, with N’Golo Kanté and Jorginho both entering the final year of their contracts, and Saúl Ñíguez and Ross Barkley presumably both leaving. Keeping Loftus-Cheek as depth would not be the worst idea.