Crystal Palace are one of five clubs yet to pick up any points in the Premier League this season, a worrying start for manager Frank de Boer.
But if there’s one player who has enjoyed decent beginnings to the campaign at Selhurst Park, it’s undoubtedly on-loan Chelsea youngster Ruben Loftus-Cheek.
The 21-year-old hardly got a look-in during his three seasons in the first team at Stamford Bridge, making just 22 Premier League appearances in total and mostly featuring from the bench. In fairness, the England U21 struggled to convince when called upon – something Jose Mourinho, Guus Hiddink and Antonio Conte all seemingly agreed upon.
But considering Chelsea have already depended on David Luiz to fill a void in central midfield just two weeks into the new season, the Blues’ decision to loan out Loftus-Cheek must be questioned, especially in light of a particularly impressive display at Anfield last weekend.
The powerful midfielder, who is valued at £4.5million by Transfermarkt, was almost the catalyst in an Eagles upset, creating two chances – one of which probably should have been put away by Christian Benteke – and completing three dribbles while making big contributions defensively, chipping in with four tackles and three interceptions.
A late Sadio Mane goal essentially ruled out the youngster’s good work while Luiz’s defensive presence was a key factor in Chelsea claiming a resilient win over Spurs at Wembley. But both of those results could have panned out very differently and the Blues still only have three natural central midfield options for the rest of season.
His early outings for Palace suggest Loftus-Cheek could have contributed significantly at his parent club this term.