Ruben Loftus-Cheek says he made the right decision to join Crystal Palace from Chelsea on loan this summer and believes he “definitely” has a future at Stamford Bridge despite failing to establish himself in west London.
Loftus-Cheek, 21, delivered an impressive performance for Frank de Boer’s side despite suffering a chastening 3-0 home defeat by Huddersfield Town on Saturday (12 August) and will certainly be given the nod to start Palace’s clash with Liverpool at Anfield this weekend.
His debut for Palace was just the fifth Premier League start of his career, with opportunities hard to come by for young players at his boyhood club Chelsea. Loftus-Cheek managed just a handful of appearances in all competitions under Antonio Conte last season but is now enjoying the prospect of regular game-time at Selhurst Park, where competition for places is still fierce.
“It’s tough being at Chelsea. I work hard every day in training. It’s a massive club with really good players so you don’t get the opportunity every weekend,” Loftus-Cheek told SkySports.
“Coming to Crystal Palace, I’m really excited to be playing. There’s still massive competition here.
When asked if he still sees a future for himself at Stamford Bridge, Loftus-Cheek said: “Yeah, definitely. Chelsea are my club, I support them. Right now I’m fully committed to Palace and whatever happens, who knows?
“I could have gone earlier and who knows what could have happened? I didn’t and decided to stay. I’m getting older and now was the time to leave.”
Chelsea may be regretting their decision to allow Loftus-Cheek to join Crystal Palace on temporary basis, though it did make sense at the time. The Premier League champions also sanctioned permanent transfers for Nemanja Matic and Nathaniel Chalobah and are now facing the prospect of facing Tottenham on Sunday with just one available first-team midfielder in N’Golo Kante, with new signing Tiemoue Bakayoko and playmaker Francesc Fabregas injured and suspended respectively.
Their current midfield predicament has led them to pursue a deal for Leicester City midfielder Danny Drinkwater, but Craig Shakespeare’s men are driving a hard bargain with the former Manchester United youth star and are seeking a fee of £40m, according to the Daily Mail.
Chelsea are said to be preparing an offer of £25m plus bonuses for the sporadic England international, who has told Leicester of his desire to swap the Midlands for the capital.