Chelsea push star at last chance saloon towards surprise next destination

Christian Pulisic, Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Kurt Zouma and Cesar Azpilicueta in Chelsea training, June 2020

Chelsea believe the Bundesliga would be the best next destination for Ruben Loftus-Cheek as he prepares for one last chance at saving his club career.

Loftus-Cheek was a promising prospect when he emerged from the Chelsea academy. Going on to become a member of England’s squad for the 2018 World Cup, he looked capable of being a regular for club and country. Sadly, a series of injuries have prevented him making the progress expected of him.

He spent the 2020-21 season on loan at Fulham in an effort to regain his fitness. It worked to some extent, giving him 32 appearances in all competitions. But his form was not that of a player capable of breaking back into the Chelsea starting XI.

Hence, upon his return to Stamford Bridge, he faces a dilemma. At 25 years old, time is running out for him to carve out a long-term Chelsea future. That’s despite his contract still running until 2024.

Yet to fully give up on him, though, Chelsea are ready to sanction one more loan exit for him to prove himself, according to The Sun.

They have previously mentioned Southampton as an interested party in the Premier League. But now they claim that Chelsea are trying to push Loftus-Cheek towards Germany.

The Bundesliga has provided a platform for several young English talents to gain regular gametime in recent seasons. Loftus-Cheek may be further towards the middle of his career than most. But if he is going to make that last step of his development anywhere, it could be in Germany.

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He may not recapture the form that put him in Chelsea first-team contention previously. Even so, the Blues believe they can still raise his value if he has a decent season abroad.

No specific clubs are mentioned within Chelsea’s Bundesliga plan for the 10-cap international.

Loftus-Cheek ready to ‘hit the ground running’

Ruben Loftus-Cheek TEAMtalk

As he continues pre-season training with his parent club under Thomas Tuchel, Loftus-Cheek has set out his aims for the year ahead.

He told Chelsea’s official website: “I had last season as a season where I can find my feet and it definitely felt like that at the start. I was struggling mentally and needed to focus on just taking risks in training and get that feel back.

“But it eventually came and I was doing really well in games. So I’ve had my injury and I’ve had a season now to get fit and feel confident in my body and this season is where I hit the ground running.

“I feel really fit now and strong, and hopefully the injuries stay away. Last season was my first full injury-free season which is a massive positive for me, because I always used to get niggles.

“Even though I was fit I’d be out for a week or a couple of days, miss a couple of matches. But last season was good for my body to be fit every training session and available for every game.

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“My break was relaxed. I had a little bit longer than usual, so I enjoyed it with my family, just mentally and physically. I started doing a bit of training quite early because I felt like I had a lot of time. So that’s why I feel fit now and relaxed and mentally fresh and ready to go.”

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