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Ross Barkley could be perfect Ruben Loftus-Cheek at Crystal Palace

Chelsea

Ross Barkley could be perfect Ruben Loftus-Cheek at Crystal Palace

A loan-deal for the 24-year-old would suit both clubs.

Crystal Palace are reportedly in the market for a central midfielder this summer, as Roy Hodgson is vying for the services of Arsenal‘s Jack Wilshere, according to reports from Evening Standard. But there’s an alternative target the Eagles should be looking at.

Chelsea secured the signing of Ross Barkley from Everton last January, with many tipping the 24-year-old to become a success at Stamford Bridge. However, it seems to move he craved for so long has turned into a nightmare, as his career is currently on hold.

Having made just five appearances, compared to 39 in the previous season with Everton, there’s no doubting the midfielder needs a move away from the west London giants and Palace could prove to be his ideal destination.

Photo: Getty Images

Roy Hodgson’s eagerness to extend Yohan Cabaye’s stay and to bring in Wilshere suggests he’s after a creative, ball carrying box-to-box midfielder and the Barkley of 2016/17 fits the mould perfectly.

Ruben Loftus-Cheek is unlikely to extend his stay at Selhurst Park after emerging on the biggest stage with England this summer, and Barkley stylistically is probably the closest thing to his Chelsea teammate.

Chelsea will be keen to offload the player this summer, whether it be on a temporary or permanent basis, but a season-long loan would could suit both clubs perfectly.

If regular football with Palace brings back Barkley’s best form – having scored six and assisted nine in 2016/17 – Hodgson’s midfield could flourish, and the absence of Loftus-Cheek wouldn’t leave a void in the side.

Photo: Getty Images

The Blues will also be keen to see results for the £15 million they paid, as selling him on at the moment would likely garner a far smaller transfer fee. And if his immense potential is brought to the fore-front they could bring him back to Stamford Bridge a year later to bolster the squad.

Jamie Watts

Sports journalist based in London. Previously of HITC and 90min.

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