Newcastle United are reportedly interested in signing Ruben Loftus-Cheek from Chelsea this month.
That is according to the Telegraph, who claim that the 26-year-old midfielder is one of three players from Stamford Bridge that the Magpies are looking at.
Graham Potter’s side have been incredibly active during the current transfer window. So far they have signed Benoit Badiashile, Joao Felix, Mykhaylo Mudryk, Andrey Santos and David Datro Fofana.
Those arrivals could force the Blues to move some players out of the door, with Newcastle eyeing three Chelsea players.
Eddie Howe is keen to sign a midfielder following Jonjo Shelvey’s injury, while that need slightly increased following a scare regarding Bruno Guimaraes.
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A wide forward has also been linked, which explains rumours regarding Morocco’s World Cup star Ziyech.
Loftus-Cheek could fill Newcastle’s midfield hole
A centre-midfielder is more pressing for the Magpies, which is why Gallagher and Loftus-Cheek are being targeted. They are both struggling to make a name for themselves at Chelsea after loan spells with Crystal Palace.
Loftus-Cheek has actually played a lot of football this season, starting 12 of the 15 games he has been available for. He has had to show versatility though, having been asked to operate as a right wing-back at times.
That is what he did at St James’ Park before the World Cup, but he was forced off with a calf injury inside the first 10 minutes.
He returned to the Chelsea squad at the weekend, and he is now a target for Newcastle.
‘Top tier’ RLC compared to Yaya Toure
The England international probably hasn’t lived up to his initial potential. He looked like he was going to become a midfield enforcer in the coming years, but he has developed into more of a utility man.
But Loftus-Cheek is capable of breaking the defensive lines with his lung-busting runs from deep, and they saw him draw comparisons to Premier League legend Yaya Toure.
Rio Ferdinand spoke about RLC last year. He said on his YouTube channel: “He should be like Yaya (Toure). I have seen him play in defence this season. It’s mad and he looks super comfortable.
“The manager is starting to trust him and you are seeing a better Ruben Loftus-Cheek now because he can sense trust.
“I think he’s somebody that they need to find a defined role in this team now for him and let him go.
“Say ‘go, do your stuff’. Make some demands off him. I want more goals and I want more assists. He’s a top-tier player.”
Loftus-Cheek certainly has the raw ability to become a ‘top tier player’. However, that is something we have not seen form him on a consistent basis.
Howe could get that out of him, having improved a plethora of players since becoming Toon boss. However, it remains to be seen if Chelsea would be willing to let him go.
His versatility has been useful for Thomas Tuchel and Graham Potter this season, who have both struggled to get a tune out of this Chelsea team.
Now new recruits have arrived, and it could force some of the old guard out. Newcastle are ready to pounce, with three Blues on their radar.