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Chelsea are unbeaten in the Premier League so far having strengthened well during the summer, including the acquisitions of midfielders Jorginho and Kovacic, who arrived on loan from Real.
Ruben Loftus-Cheek produced another good performance in Chelsea’s 3-2 win over Derby on Wednesday night.
He looks to be in fine form so can he now become a regular starter for the club in the Premier League?
The debate about Ruben Loftus-Cheek’s lack of game time is not new but it is one that has gathered in urgency.
The midfielder turns 23 in the January transfer window and while he feasts on midweek action, younger men have been seizing their opportunities.
Despite his recent form, Loftus-Cheek has been linked with a January move away as he looks to force his way back into Gareth Southgate’s England plans.
And Keown has urged Sarri to terminate Kovacic’s temporary deal in order to gift more action to Loftus-Cheek, as well as Ross Barkley, who has also impressed lately.
“I honestly believe that had Maurizio Sarri known just how good Ross Barkley and Ruben Loftus-Cheek were, Chelsea would not have taken Mateo Kovacic on loan,” he told the Daily Mail.
“It’s a nice problem for Sarri to have.
“You cannot drop N’Golo Kante so there are three players fighting for one midfield berth.
“If Chelsea had to make a choice between Kovacic and Loftus-Cheek, I would rather send Kovacic back to Real Madrid than send Loftus-Creek out on loan.”
Barkley arrived in west London from Everton in January but struggled to hit the ground running.
But after biding his team, the 24-year-old is thriving in Sarri’s attacking system and Chelsea legend Jimmy Floyd-Hasselbaink hopes Loftus-Cheek will follow suit.
He told Sky Sports: “He’s different, he’s totally different to what they have got. He has got so much power.
“But Barkley has had his struggles as well and he needs to learn from Barkley’s struggles.
“Barkley has never given up and he has gone through difficult times.
“At Everton, coming here that he didn’t straight away get into the team.
“He had to fight really hard to be able to get this chance that he’s got now.
“And he’s taken it, that’s what Loftus-Cheek have got to do as well.”