Ruben Loftus-Cheek has had a difficult time breaking into the first-team at Chelsea this season. This left Crystal Palace supporters hoping that the midfielder would return to Selhurst Park in January.
Those hopes have severely diminished over this past week, as Loftus-Cheek has delivered two good performances in the Chelsea first-team.
The first came as the England International scored a hat-trick in the Europa League against BATE Borisov. Although the opposition wasn’t the best, it was a rare opportunity for Loftus-Cheek to impress and he took it. He followed that up with a goal in the Premier League win over Burnley.
On the same day, Crystal Palace earned a credible point against Arsenal. The main disappointment would have been that their two goals came from the penalty spot. The Eagles have yet to score a goal from open play at Selhurst Park in this Premier League season.
They could do with a player like Loftus-Cheek in the centre of the park to add creativity and dynamism to the team.
The past week means that a return for the midfielder is extremely unlikely. Even if he was available, his price will have increased. Palace need to identify alternative targets.