Jose Mourinho’s AS Roma are reportedly interested in a January swoop for Chelsea midfielder Ruben Loftus-Cheek to boost their Champions League aspirations.
According to Corriere Dello Sport, AS Roma boss Jose Mourinho is plotting a transfer for Chelsea’s versatile midfielder Ruben Loftus-Cheek, as the former Blues boss seeks to bolster his midfield options.
Roma are prepared to back Mourinho in the January transfer market after he made public complaints about the squad quality at his disposal. The 58-year-old had a strong start to his tenure in the Italian capital, winning six consecutive games in all competitions, but holes have begun to appear.
The speculation around Roma’s January additions intensified after their 6-1 defeat to Bodo/Glimt a fortnight ago, with general manager Tiago Pinto reviewing a long list of potential targets to bolster Jose Mourinho’s squad. The report adds that the Giallorossi boss is keen to raid his former clubs for potential signings and has put Ruben Loftus-Cheek as one of the midfield targets on the list, alongside Tottenham ace Harry Winks.
A Blues academy product, Loftus-Cheek broke into Chelsea’s senior squad as a promising youngster. However, recurring injuries impeded his development, with the Englishman having to settle for loan moves away from Stamford Bridge. The 25-year-old excelled while on loan at Crystal Palace in 2017/18, earning him a place in the side under Maurizio Sarri the following season.
He produced his career-best numbers in the 2018/19 campaign, tallying 10 goals and 5 assists from 40 outings in all competitions and appeared to be finally developing as a vital figure for Chelsea before another long-term injury halted his progression.
After another mixed loan stint at Fulham, Loftus-Cheek returned to Chelsea’s first-team setup and again found himself on the periphery of Blues’ squad at the start of the season. But he has profited from the injuries sustained by Mateo Kovacic and N’Golo Kante. In recent weeks, he has forced his way into Thomas Tuchel’s plans and was again impressive on his fourth start at Malmo.
Mourinho has a talented and competent playing XI at Roma but has little to choose from the bench. This squad deficiency has forced the Portuguese to pick the same starting lineup for the last four games in a row. The Giallorossi eyed a loan swoop for Loftus-Cheek late in the summer transfer window. It is now understood that they still retain an interest in the player and can make another approach in the January window.
Roma can make do with someone of Loftus-Cheek’s physical and technical attributes. With his brilliant hold-up play and clever movement, the all-action midfielder has the ability to build attacks. His speed and athleticism can help penetrate the opposition defences, and when combined with his defensive qualities and ball-winning abilities, the 25-year-old is a complete package that can cause havoc alongside the likes of Lorenzo Pellegrini and Jordan Veretout.
Loftus-Cheek’s aerial dominance and goal-scoring prowess mean his collusion with striker fellow Chelsea academy graduate Tammy Abraham could be a vital asset in the longer run. What remains to be seen is whether Loftus-Cheek does reunite with Mourinho at Roma or continues his recent transformation at Chelsea.