A contribution piece from @CfcZipy
One of my favourite players in the current Chelsea team. A player who is determined to be the best that he can be. A player who has breathed the colour blue from the early age of 8. From his fashion to what he does on the pitch, this player performs it all. I can go on about how marvellous he is, but there is no need to do so as we all know the kind of character he is. Considering what an outstanding player he’s been, let’s take a trip down memory lane to see how things started for Ruben.
Making his debut in early December 2014, Ruben played only 3 games in our title winning season. This was still a good year for him as he played in the UEFA Youth League Final against Shaktar. The Blues won that game 3-2 after a second-half from brace from now Chelsea-loanee Isaiah Brown. Loftus-Cheek was awarded a replica Premier League medal for the season alongside the likes of Mohamed Salah, who joined Florentina on a loan-deal during the January transfer window.
The English midfileder scored his first professional goal for Chelsea coming on as a substitute in an FA Cup fixture, against Scunthorpe United. He then scored in the same season his first league goal against Aston Villa. The following season Ruben was played in the striker’s position under new boss Antonio Conte. This didn’t work out well for him, not scoring one single goal during the whole season. This also had to do with former-blue Diego Costa’s fantastic form, in which he scored a record total goal contributions for him, which consisted of 20 goals and 7 assists.
After a lack of minutes, Ruben moved to Crystal Palace on a 1-year loan deal. This deal proved to be very worthwhile for him, experiencing football at the highest level. His season was not was exceptional but was very beneficial for him.
Let’s move onto last season which was by far Ruben’s best-ever season for his professional career. Netting in 10 goals and getting 5 assists in all competitions, this was by far his best year at the club. Loftus-Cheek had 81 successful dribbles last season which is the 2nd highest for Chelsea in the Premier League and Europa League combined. Willian managed a 67% success rate whilst RLC managed a 63% dribbling success rate placing Ruben 3rd, for players who did more than 100 dribbles. It’s also worth mentioning that Ruben completed 26 more dribbles than Willian whilst coming off the bench the majority.
After those astonishing stats, it’s no wonder the propaganda for RLC to start games last season was so high. His brilliant dribbling earned him the name “The Rhino with Sticky Feet” from one of the most respected accounts on Chelsea Twitter, Alex Goldberg. Another nickname was “The Tank” from other users which indicated his massive built. These names demonstrated how loved Ruben is within our fanbase!
At the writing of this article, there is currently no set date for the return of Ruben. Many reports suggest he’d be available mid-December but it’s looking very unlikely at the moment. We all pray daily that Ruben comes back stronger than ever and that his injury does not hinder his development to become one of the best in the world. I believe that this is possible for him considering what an outstanding player he’s been in the last couple of years. Good-luck on your recovery Ruben!