Maurizio Sarri is the new boss at Lazio and as per the latest reports, the manager has asked the club to bring in Ruben Loftus-Cheek from Chelsea.
The midfielder was supposed to be the next best thing at Chelsea but an ACL injury has really pushed his career backwards and he spent the 2020-21 season out on loan to Fulham.
Ruben Loftus-Cheek has always regarded Sarri highly and the England international had even praised the Italian for showing him direction when things were not going well for him.
‘I felt like he was truthful with me,’ Loftus-Cheek had said earlier this year.
‘At the start, I wasn’t playing. He told me why and said if I want to play, I have to do this and that gave me something to work towards and eventually I started to do what he asked and I played.
‘That gave me confidence to know that if I keep doing that, I’ll keep playing. Then you start to get more understanding of the game. I played in an eight role, with one deep, so I had the licence to go forward and affect the game in that way.
‘I felt that was a good season and in my head after that season I was like ‘we kick on next season’, but obviously got the bad injury which halted my progression, but now it’s time to build up again.’
During his loan spell, Ruben Loftus-Cheek played in 31 Premier League games for Fulham but he could manage only a single goal. And given the vast array of midfielders Thomas Tuchel has at his disposal, the 25-year-old does not have any future at the club.
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Loftus-Cheek still has three more years left on his current deal and is currently valued at £16.2 million by TransferMarkt. But if a good enough offer comes in then the Blues will not hesitate to sell him off.
Aston Villa are another club who have been keeping tabs on the England international but this interest from Sarri could turn out to be a major roadblock for Dean Smith’s side.
Villa have John McGinn, Douglas Luiz, Morgan Sanson, Marvelous Nakamba and Jacob Ramsey who all play in central midfielder so we don’t see why they will want to sign another player who performs the exact same role.
Ideally, Ruben Loftus-Cheek will want to remain in the Premier League to boost his chances for playing for England but at Lazio, he will not only get consistent game time but is also going to be under a manager who really values him.
In the end, Chelsea will be happy to send him to whichever club’s willing to pay the better transfer fee.