It has been a frustrating few years for Ruben Loftus-Cheek.
When he made his Chelsea debut back in December 2014, then a precocious 18-year-old, the expectation was that he would play a central role in the club’s future.
A deep-lying playmaker with an assured touch and impressive stride, Loftus-Cheek was tipped to progress smoothly before cementing his first-team spot at Stamford Bridge.
But progress, like it is for so many budding Premier League prospects, has been slow, and at times, disrupted.
Injuries and managerial changes have transpired against him, while an ineffective display in Chelsea’s opening-day win at Brighton & Hove Albion served only to complicate his future.
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Having been left out of Frank Lampard’s last two matchday squads, there seems a strong possibility that Loftus-Cheek will be playing his football elsewhere this season.
With a number of clubs reportedly interested, we analyse the pros and cons of each potential move.
West Ham United
The mood at West Ham United could scarcely be lower. Having escaped relegation last term, the Hammers have failed to sign a single player during a summer of much discontent in East London.
And, to rub salt into their wounds, they are yet to pick up a point this season following defeats by Newcastle United and Arsenal in their opening two matches.
Club captain Mark Noble also spoke out against the club’s decision to sell promising winger Grady Diangana to West Bromwich Albion, further deepening the sense of malaise at the London Stadium.
In theory, Loftus-Cheek’s introduction could go two ways (The Guardian have noted their interest in signing him on a season-long loan).
Provided he stays fit, he could potentially breathe new life into the Hammers midfield, offering a more thrusting presence than Noble,…