Ruben Loftus-Cheek: Chelsea FC’s Graceful Silhouette

By CFCUnofficial (Chelsea Debs) (Chelsea 3 Sporting Lisbon 1) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons
By CFCUnofficial (Chelsea Debs) (Chelsea 3 Sporting Lisbon 1) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons /

The International break has come to a close and Premier League action is fast approaching.

Normally for Chelsea FC fans, this would bring about feelings of joy and wonder and thoughts of continued winning streaks and dominance.

Not this season.

2015 has created an air of nervousness among Chelsea supporters, a feeling of unease. Some will be biting nails, some will be peering through parted fingers slapped across their faces, and others will be holding their breath.

This isn’t because Didier Drogba is about to step up to take a penalty against Bayern Munich to win the Champions League in the Bavarians’ backyard no less. No, we are about to face a team 18th in the Premier League in the home comforts of Stamford Bridge.

So why the concern?

Tim Sherwood’s Aston Villa may well be 18th, but Chelsea lie only 2 places above them in 16th. The game may well be at the Bridge, but Chelsea’s home record in the league so far this season reads: Played 4, Won 1, Drawn 1, Lost 2.

This is an uncertain time for the Chelsea faithful. For fans of a certain generation, this is a step firmly into the unknown.

There have been plenty of reasons, excuses, causes, facts, stats and opinions offered on Chelsea blogs, Twitter accounts and in blue households. From a late-starting and laboured pre-season, to the Eva Carneiro debacle; from the form of Bransilav Ivanovic, Cesc Fabregas, Nemanja Matic and Eden Hazard, to the weight of Diego Costa.

Some are reversible, some were entirely avoidable, but all are perfectly reasonable.

Let me be clear, this has been a terrible start for Chelsea and it is no more than we deserve, but in the spirit of keeping the blue flag flying high and being wistfully carefree, from the darkness I see the light.

Standing in the light is a 6 foot 3 silhouette, a muscular build that moves with efficiency, power and grace. The silhouette has a name, it is Ruben Loftus-Cheek. A name that has been on Chelsea fan’s lips this season and, for keen followers of our successful youth teams, for the past few years.

The London born 19-year-old has been with Chelsea since the age of eight and has been long heralded as the first youngster to make it through the club’s academy into the first team since Captain, Leader, Legend – John Terry.

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In the 2013–14 season Loftus-Cheek was a key component of the Chelsea Under-18 side that won the FA Youth Cup, where the midfielder lifted the trophy as captain. During the same season Loftus-Cheek was a regular for the Under-21 team that won the Under-21 Premier League.

It was after this successful season in Chelsea’s youth set-up that Loftus-Cheek first got his chance in the first team, He managed to get on the pitch for two substitute cameo appearances against Sporting Lisbon and Manchester City. It wasn’t long before Jose Mourinho decided to promote the young Englishman.

Due to the form, or lack thereof, of Fabregas and Matic this season, the desire to see Loftus-Cheek start a Chelsea game has grown exponentially with every abject performance this season. After the defeat to Southampton, Mourinho confirmed that he was in agreement and that now the time is right.

"“Clearly it is time. Not to play four, five or six kids – some are not ready – but Ruben is a case where he’s more ready, and if everything goes normal during the next two weeks, he’s a player to start the next game and a run of matches, to try and get that stability as a first-team choice.”"

Well, those two weeks could have hardly gone any better for Loftus-Cheek.

Where Matic and Fabregas took their indifferent form to the international stage (the Serbian picked up a red card and the Spaniard missed a penalty), young Ruben scored his first England Under-21 goal and was given a standing ovation from those impressed by his overall performance.

England Under-21 manager Gareth Southgate had some very kind words to say about the young star after the game which won’t have done his chances of starting against Villa on Saturday any harm either.

"“His use of the ball and ability to ride challenges and manipulate the ball quickly is very special.”"

If Mourinho is true to his word, then it remains to be seen where Loftus-Cheek will line up. Similar in stature and style to Matic, it would appear as though a straight swap for the Serbian defensive midfielder is most sensible, but given that Mourinho errs on the side of caution it would not be a surprise to see the two play alongside one another, with Fabregas pushed further forward.

There is a beauty to watching something powerful move with floating grace and Chelsea fans now, more than ever this season, should allow excitement to take hold.

In a campaign of very few highs, out of the darkness, comes the light. It is time for the graceful silhouette to step forward. The limelight awaits.

Next: England U21 Boss Pushes For Ruben Loftus-Cheek Time At Chelsea FC

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