Jamie Redknapp defends 21-year-old’s decision to leave Chelsea
The Liverpool legend believes Ruben Loftus-Cheek had to leave Chelsea given the summer signings
Jamie Redknapp has defended Ruben Loftus-Cheek’s decision to leave Chelsea in the summer.
The 21-year-old opted to complete a loan switch to Crystal Palace in the summer transfer window after failing to tie down a regular spot in the Chelsea team.
Loftus-Cheek made seven appearances in the Premier League as Antonio Conte’s side won the title with two games to spare in the 2016-17 season.
The powerful midfielder decided against remaining at the west London club and continuing to fight for a first-team place.
Gareth Southgate handed Loftus-Cheek his first England cap last week and he was made man of the match in a goalless draw with Germany at Wembley.
Chelsea signed France international Tiemoue Bakayoko in a £40m deal from Ligue 1 side AS Monaco in the summer.
The title holders brought in Leicester City midfielder Danny Drinkwater in a £35m transfer on deadline day.
Former Liverpool and Tottenham midfielder Redknapp felt Loftus-Cheek had little option but to leave the defending champions given the summer signings.
“It’s difficult because he probably wouldn’t get a chance with Chelsea,” Redknapp told Sky Sports. “They’ve signed Bakayoko, so the only chance he has really is if he goes on loan somewhere. I think the loan system is very good.”
Chelsea are in fourth place in the Premier League table and nine points behind current leaders Manchester City.
The Blues were 1-0 winners against title rivals Manchester United at Stamford Bridge in their last Premier League fixture.