London: Ruben Loftus-Cheek will make a decision over his short-term future at Chelsea later this month as he waits to discover if the positive impact he has made in recent weeks earns him a first Premier League start of the season against Wolverhampton Wanderers.
The England midfielder has scored five goals in his last six club appearances, including the team’s second against Fulham on Sunday to secure a timely derby success, to draw praise from the head coach, Maurizio Sarri. The 22-year-old has been a regular in the Europa League and Carabao Cup selections this season, regaining his place in the national squad for last month’s fixtures as a result, but craves greater involvement in the top flight.
Crystal Palace are keen to take the midfielder back to Selhurst Park, where he enjoyed a productive season-long loan last season, but Chelsea had made clear to prospective suitors that he would not be permitted to leave mid-season. However, it is understood Loftus-Cheek is still prepared to ask for a temporary switch if opportunities remain elusive through a busy month of fixtures up to the opening of the transfer window, not least in Wednesday’s trip to Molineux where his recent form would justify inclusion from the start.
The player, who has spoken regularly one-on-one with Sarri over his development, has been more progressive in his play of late, adding a different dimension to Chelsea’s midfield. “My mindset is when I get the opportunity to play, whether it is the Europa League or Premier League, I have got to do my best and try and make stuff happen, but also do what the manager asks me to do defensively,” he said. “I want to carry on like that. I’m just trying to improve my all-round game and hopefully I can build on this run.
“I am here right now, I am at Chelsea and I want to focus on helping the team. When I am on the pitch I can’t have any negative thoughts when I am in and around the team because it will affect the team. So my head right now is on playing for Chelsea and learning Sarri’s way. Individually and as a team, that’s all I can do at the moment. I can’t think too far ahead. I can only think about what’s happening right now.
“It is a difficult period coming up where we have to be fully focused. There’s loads of games, so loads of rotation, so we all need to be ready physically and mentally for this. It is all a learning curve, so I am just really focused and aware on what I need to learn.”
— Guardian News & Media Ltd