Chelsea exodus set to continue with two midfield stars expected to leave the club

Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Mateo Kovacic, Chelsea, February 2022

Simon Phillips expects Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Mateo Kovacic to run down their Chelsea deals, amid reports of a lot of exits coming soon.

Chelsea have had their fun in the transfer market over the last two windows. Indeed, 15 players have headed through the door since Todd Boehly took over the club.

The spend in that time is north of £500million. Some quality players have joined the club, such as World Cup winner Enzo Fernandez, Mykhaylo Mudryk and Joao Felix, to name a few.

However, with that many new signings coming through the door, not everybody is going to be happy.

It would be impossible to fit all the newcomers into the side along with existing players. As such, some people are going to be left out more than they previously would.

The Blues’ last game, for example, saw six players that signed either in the summer or in January start. What’s more, another two recent additions were on the bench.

There are clearly drawbacks to the massive influx of players, and that could mean some talent leaves the club soon.

A Sky Sports punditry panel recently tipped nine players to depart the club. Within that nine-strong list were big names such as Conor Gallagher, N’Golo Kante and Raheem Sterling – the latter only joined in the summer.

Loftus-Cheek and Kovacic expected to leave

Not mentioned on that list were midfield pair Loftus-Cheek and Kovacic. However, journalist Phillips has already stated he feels the latter will leave the club when his contract is up in 2024.

He has since reiterated that claim, while adding that he thinks Loftus-Cheek will follow suit.

“You’ve got the situations with Mateo Kovacic’s contract, 2024, Loftus-Cheek as well, 2024. So those are two midfielders that I’d be surprised with if any of them ended up extending as things stand,” he told GIVEMESPORT.

There would be a massive exodus in the midfield itself if the pair were to leave along with Gallagher and Kante. While they’d be losing some quality players, the Blues would still have Loftus-Cheek and Kovacic for another season, if they were to run their deals down.

What’s more, they do have other midfield options to choose from. Lewis Hall is capable of playing there, with Carney Chukwuemeka, Andrey Santos, Fernandez and Mason Mount all options.

Pair leaving would seem strange

It’s clear Fernandez is going to be given ample opportunities in the midfield. Indeed, he was bought for a British record transfer fee, so Chelsea will want to get the most out of him.

However, that’s not likely to infringe on opportunities for other players too much. Indeed, Jorginho left as he joined, so there’s been no change in depth in the midfield.

Lofus-Cheek and Kovacic have both played regularly this season. The former started 13 league games, and may well have played more if it weren’t for an injury.

Kovacic – also hindered by injuries – has played 15 times and, after Jorgino left and with Kante’s future up in the air, is one of the more experienced heads and could soon be the most.

As such, it would be strange for both players to move on and while Chelsea do have other options, they’ll not want two experienced midfielders to move on at the same time.

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