Chelsea prospect Loftus-Cheek must deliver at Crystal Palace
The 21-year-old now has a platform to prove himself as a genuine Chelsea and England first-team player for years to come after joining Palace
“I had the option of coming to Palace and I thought that it would be great for me,” Ruben Loftus-Cheek told the official Crystal Palace site upon completion of his loan move from Chelsea. “I live not too far away, I was born in Lewisham and Palace is good club so I thought it’s a good chance to play here and be a part of the team. They have a very strong team and I’d like to be a part of that this season.”
At 21, the midfielder has finally been presented with an opportunity to add some substance to the excitement that has been building around his name. The midfielder has tasted success at youth level, winning two FA Youth Cups, the under-21 Premier League and the UEFA Youth League, while starring for England up to Under-21 level.
It was at the 2016 Toulon Tournament where Loftus-Cheek excelled, so much so he secured the Player of the Tournament prize and was said to be on the shortlist for several Premier League clubs ahead of the 2016-17 campaign. Following a handful of league appearances in the previous campaign, though, incoming Blues boss Antonio Conte refused to let him leave.
“Ruben stays here [rather than go out on loan]," Conte previously said. "He's a young player with great potential. I'm impressed with what I’ve seen and he stays here.”
Now, though, it’s time to step up. Ronald de Boer’s first Palace signing, Loftus-Cheek arrives as the club’s new number eight and will go some way to implementing the Dutchman’s ideas at Selhurst Park.