Ruben Loftus-Cheek Loan Reality
Much has been made of Aston Villa looking at the possibility of a loan of one of two Chelsea midfielders, Ross Barkley or Ruben Loftus-Cheek.
While some supporters have their own theories to who is most likely, there is little real public evidence of either fancying a move away from Stamford Bridge at this stage of their careers.
The fact that Villa have their John Terry – Chelsea connect, keeps the possibility of something happening alive though. Villa have done a similiar loan deal with Danny Drinkwater and Tammie Abraham in recent seasons, meaning that there’s a working relationship already in place between the two clubs, meaning something could be hatched swiftly in the dying embers of the transfer window. A window that will close on October 5th for such a deal.
Ross Barkley seems unlikely for MOMS money, as he is featuring in Chelsea’s match day squads this season and will be on monster wages. It’s hard to think what’s in it from Barkley’s point of view, if he made the move.
UPDATE: Ross Barkley signs for Villa within 24 hours of saying this!
In terms of Ruben Loftus-Cheek, there’s a lot more logic from the player’s viewpoint.
Gospel According to Frank
Chelsea boss Frank Lampard admitted this week that he’s had a couple of chats with the 24-year-old international about his future, stressing that despite the player’s exclusion from recent Chelsea squads he is “fit as a fiddle” and ready to play.
It seems obvious that both have already discussed the loan option, with the Chelsea boss openly advertising the fact.
“There is a possibility that Ruben may go out to play games, because that would be great for him,” confirmed Lampard, ahead of his team’s League Cup clash with Spurs, before pushing his player’s attributes in a salesman-like manner.
“He wants to play. The reality is that I have a lot of competition in those areas. Ruben is very versatile. He can play different roles in midfield and sometimes off the sides.”
With his manager putting out the sales pitch to potential suitors, which at this stage, reportedly includes West Ham and Southampton, along with Villa, it seems the decision to go on loan will ultimately be the player’s decision. With Lampard adding that the midfielder is still part of the plans, if he chose to stay.
“We hold him in very high regard here,” said Lampard.
“If that [a loan] is not the right option, he will be competitive in this squad as well because of the qualities he has and hopefully he could be a big plus for us.
“I would not say I am relaxed about it but I want to find the best path for Ruben and us. We will see, with the week we have ahead of us.”
Good Villa Fit
In the short-term, Loftus-Cheek would be a decent short-term acquisition to bolster the squad. With Chelsea player an established England international already, it’s not a chase of developing another team’s player at the expense of our own.
The player will get the minutes to get back to his best, which will ultimately be good for his mother club, but with Villa having spent big in the transfer window already, a chance to bring in a top player without another large outlay will be very appealing. It would buy Johan Lange more time to focus on strengthening the Villa midfield for the longer run in future transfer windows.
Dean Smith admitted his team were a little short in terms of depth of quality in midfield. Loftus-Cheek would certainly give Villa a great option and extra physicality in midfield, which would be most welcome. Not being cup-tied will be a plus too (he was also left out of Chelsea’s League Cup squad against Spurs tonight).
With Lampard seemingly up for a loan deal for his player, if Terry can work his magic and convince Loftus-Cheek that Villa should be his destination for such a move, then get it done.