Chelsea midfielder Ruben-Loftus Cheek has recently opened up about his lack of chances at his current club, which has put other teams on red-alert as the English international looks for regular gametime.
While the likes of Crystal Palace and Newcastle United are hugely interested in his services, West Ham United are the latest club to join the race for Loftus Cheek, with the Hammers eyeing a January loan move. But, is he the right choice for Manuel Pellegrini’s team?
Ruben-Loftus Cheek: Player profile
Primarily a central midfielder, Ruben-Loftus Cheek is a versatile player who has operated across several different midfield positions till now in his career. However, the number eight or number ten role is clearly his preferred slot as he likes to create chances for his team in the final third and take control of the proceedings in and around the opposition box.
The midfielder, who impressed on loan at Palace last year, also likes to take on defenders, having averaged over four dribbles per game in the previous campaign. In fact, he also attempted 3.8 dribbles per game in England’s heartening World Cup run in the summer.
However, what makes Loftus-Cheek such a sought-after midfielder is his excellent shooting prowess. Indeed, the 22-year-old is lethal in front of goal and often likes to have a go, whenever he is given enough space in and around the penalty box.
Passing is another strong asset for the Chelsea midfielder, who boasts an excellent pass accuracy of 90% this season. But, the occasional lapse of concentration and lack of composure, at times, does deter him from being identified as a pass-master while he also needs to improve his overall defensive score.
Why West Ham United should go for Ruben-Loftus Cheek?
Given the quality of the player, Ruben-Loftus Cheek can be an excellent addition to most Premier League clubs right now. But, West Ham United could be an ideal suitor for the English international given the fact that the Hammers have shown promising signs under Pellegrini this season and someone like Loftus Cheek can complement the impressive Declan Rice perfectly in midfield. This, along with the patchy injury record of most of their present players, makes this such an enticing prospect.
The Chelsea midfielder can be a perfect alternative to Jack Wilshere in midfield. His athleticism coupled with his shooting prowess can add more thrust to West Ham’s attack as well as improve the overall dynamics of the team. Pellegrini can also employ the robust attacking midfielder alongside Rice and Wilshere in the midfield. The Chilean has shown he is willing to take risks and will not employ a defensive mindset unless when absolutely forced to do so.
And with the likes of Marko Arnautovic and Felipe Anderson playing upfront, West Ham could potentially turn into an attacking powerhouse should Loftus Cheek decide to join the Hammers.
Stat courtesy: Whoscored