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9 Chances Created: Why Chelsea’s Decision To Loan Out This Englishman Has Worked Wonders For Crystal Palace

Ruben Loftus-Cheek Is Making The Most Out Of His Loan Spell With Crystal Palace And Things Can Only Get Better

Crystal Palace are going through an abysmal start to the new season, without a doubt. 11 games in, the Eagles have accumulated just 4 points so far and have been stuck at the bottom of the table for weeks now.  

There may have been some hopes due to a couple of positive results, most notably the win against Chelsea, but it looks bad for Roy Hodgson’s men going into the international break and without a doubt, they seem to be the prime contenders for relegation this campaign.

Despite the results and the gloomy atmosphere around Selhurst Park, there have been a few rays of positivity for the club this term. The form of Wilfried Zaha since his return from injury has been good, Mamadou Sakho seems to be carrying on from where he left of when he was on loan last season.  

However, it is a loan player who has stood out the most for the Eagles this term, and it is none other than Chelsea midfielder Ruben Loftus-Cheek. 

The 21-year old midfielder was acquired very early in the summer, on a season-long loan deal from the reigning Premier League champions. In his displays for his temporary club, Loftus-Cheek has shown why he is held in such high regards at his parent club.  

The England youth international has appeared in 7 Premier League games (541 minutes) so far for the Eagles. While he may not have scored a goal, he has managed to create 9 goal-scoring chances for his teammates and has one assist to his name as well. Only Yohan Cabaye and Andros Townsend have managed to create more chances for Palace than the loanee this term. 

A more than decent passing accuracy of 83.8% with a total of 160 passes played so far this season indicates he has that ability to keep things ticking in the middle of the park. His tally of 8 interceptions, 9 clearances and 4 blocks along with 10 successful tackles (16 attempts) highlight that he is not someone who abandons his defensive duties either.  

However, what has been the most impressive facet of his game with the Eagles this season is his ability to carry the ball from the midfield, with pace, making those piercing runs through the opposition. They may not have ended as goals, but each time he goes on a run like that, it reminds you of how special a talent Loftus-Cheek is.

The 21-year old, this term, has attempted a total of 31 take-ons and has been able to get past his opponents on 23 times, at a success rate of 74%. Only two players have been able to better those numbers in the Premier League, in the ongoing campaign – Loftus-Cheek’s teammate Townsend with 38 successful dribbles (79% success), Chelsea’s Eden Hazard with 25 (76% success) and Huddersfield Town’s Rajiv van La Parra with 23 at a lower success rate of 55%. Also to be noted is the fact that all three apart from Loftus-Cheek are natural wingers.  

The numbers show the kind of drive and the forward thrust that Loftus-Cheek is providing to Crystal Palace. The 21-year old is someone who is constantly improving and it is no wonder that he has been the stand-out man for a struggling team. He is absolutely thriving at the Selhurst Park.  

His performances haven’t gone unnoticed as Loftus-Cheek was handed his first call-up for the England senior national team by the Three Lions boss Gareth Southgate, for the friendlies against Germany and Brazil.

“I came away from Chelsea to get game time. Experience, fitness, just getting used to playing in the Premier League week-in, week out, the midfielder was quoted as saying by the Independent after the club’s 1-0 loss to Tottenham Hotspur this past weekend.  

Clearly, Loftus-Cheek is getting what he wants and it wouldn’t be wrong to say that he is most definitely making the most of this opportunity. If he continues this way, then sky is the limit for this superbly talented youngster.