West Ham United may have missed their chance to sign Ruben Loftus-Cheek, with the Englishman having steadily improved for Chelsea in recent months.
The Blues midfielder has largely been on the fringes at Stamford Bridge this season, as there has been strong competition from the likes of Ross Barkley and Mateo Kovacic.
He has made 28 appearances across all competitions, but just one Premier League start.
The bulk of his opportunities have come in the Europa League.
He recently scored a hat-trick against BATE Borisov, and on Thursday he impressed massively in the 5-0 win (BBC Sport) over Dynamo Kiev.
His display prompted Maurizio Sarri to sing his praises, and West Ham may now struggle to sign the player if they had any intentions of returning for him this summer.
Have West Ham missed the boat?
In what could be a major turning point for the Englishman, Sarri said (The Daily Mail): “He’s improving. In the last month he’s been great in training.
“He’s improving every day and I’m really happy that he was able to play for 90 mins.
“His potential is very, very high. Physically and tactically he is improving. He can become one of the best in Europe.”
West Ham were linked with a move for Loftus-Cheek leading up to the January transfer window (The Mirror), but the Blues ultimately stood firm as it came and went.
They may now face difficulty trying to sign him again if they were planning on it, as it appears the player has finally made an impression on Sarri.
He certainly looks much more effective for the Blues than Barkley or Kovacic, and Sarri’s comments suggest he won’t want to lose a player who is really now starting to develop.