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Why Chelsea Should Make Use Of This 20-year Old Gem Of A Midfielder More Often?

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This is a question that has been doing rounds in the heads of lot of Chelsea fans. Ruben Loftus-Cheek made his first senior appearance for Chelsea in December 2014 when he replaced Cesc Fabregas for the last few minutes of a Champions League game against Sporting Lisbon. He made his premier league debut in January 2015 against Manchester City. His first start came at Stamford Bridge in a game against Liverpool in May 2015. This season Loftus-Cheek has made only 7 appearances in EPL and has made one appearance in the Champions League. Even though he hasn’t been used for most part in this season, I personally feel that he should be the main man at the heart of Chelsea’s midfield. There are a certain factors based on which I feel that the young Midfielder should be given the main man role and let us have a look at them in detail.

Style of play:

Loftus-Cheek is a tall central defensive midfielder with an ability to give good long balls. He is also very strong and shielding as a central midfielder, and always covers his defence in a great way. He also covers up for his partner in the central midfield role. He has a great deep play-making sense and that makes him a central defensive midfielder with good play-making ability. His style ticks all the boxes in all right the places. In his first in the EPL start, he had a pass completion rate of 100% and this season he has maintained an average pass accuracy of 80%.

Fabregas has been good in the creative area for Chelsea in the centre of the field but defensively he hasn’t been that great. With every passing season, Mikel seems to get more average and there is hardly any excitement that the Nigerian offers now. Matic was brilliant in that role last year, but this season even he has been average. With Loftus-Cheek in a central role alongside Matic, Chelsea can form a central partnership that may dominate the EPL in the following years.

A slow ageing Central midfield:

Cesc Fabregas is 28, Nemanja Matic is 27, John Obi Mikel is 28. Even though they are still on the better side of 30, they have showed fatigue this season. A reason why Chelsea’s overall performance has taken a huge dip this year. Chelsea were very average in all areas of the pitch for the first half of the league and central midfield was one area which was one the worst performing areas. Fabregas and Matic who were the star performers last season haven’t lived up to their performance this season.

At times all that Chelsea needs is some fresh pair of legs in the centre of the field. This was all the more proved in the recent game against West Ham. Loftus-Cheek came in as a substitute in the 84th minute and impressed instantly. He offered Chelsea freshness and his good control with the ball and impressive runs forward was rewarded when he earned the team a penalty and that resulted in Chelsea getting a point when they were heading for none.

The Youth Factor:

It’s about time that Chelsea start getting more and more players in to the first team from their youth academy. This is one area where Chelsea fall way behind from the likes of Manchester United, Arsenal, Tottenham and other clubs. The last major player that comes to our mind to make a break in the Chelsea first team from the academy and stay there is John Terry and that was way back in 1998. Post that we have had players like Ryan Bertrand, who made it to the first team, but they could hardly cement their place in the team.

Loftus-Cheek has been in the Chelsea youth academy for 10 years before he made it to the senior team. Jose Mourinho is a manager who is not a big fan of getting players from the youth academy a chance in the senior team. However, he became a fan of this young central midfielder and hand picked him to be in the senior squad. This speaks volumes about Loftus Cheek’s talent and given more chances in the central midfield role, he might become the next Chelsea academy player to step in Terry’s footstep.