As confirmed by Chelsea’s official Twitter account on Wednesday evening, Mateo Kovacic will join on a season-long loan from Real Madrid. So what now for Ruben Loftus-Cheek?
It’s been a whirlwind few days for the Blues. Thibaut Courtois failed to turn up for training as he tried to force a move to the Spanish giants.
His behaviour prompted the club to shell out a whopping £71.6 million on Athletic Bilbao goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga (via the Sun), which has opened the door for the Belgian to complete his move back to Madrid.
As part of the Courtois deal, Kovacic will be coming to Stamford Bridge for the 2018/19 season; it’s a real coup by the club given the player’s quality and versatility.
One has to imagine the talented Croatia international will become a regular starter under Maurizio Sarri; that should be setting alarm bells ringing for Loftus-Cheek.
There’s a lot of competition in the midfield areas at the moment; N’Golo Kante, new signings Jorginho and Kovacic, Ross Barkley, Danny Drinkwater, Cesc Fabregas and Tiemoue Bakayoko are all in the mix, although the latter could yet make a deadline day loan move to AC Milan as reported by the Sun.
Loftus-Cheek can also play on the right, but the club appears to have successfully kept hold of Willian. That means there’s little chance of him starting there; especially with Pedro and Callum Hudson-Odoi also options for Sarri.
A lot of Chelsea fans had been hoping to see more of Loftus-Cheek in blue this season. However, it’s difficult to see where he fits in besides warming the bench; that’s not what he deserves or his development needs. It could be in his best interests to push for a deadline day loan move.