Former Arsenal midfielder Ray Parlour has claimed that Chelsea would allow Ruben Loftus-Cheek to leave the club if he wishes.
The 22-year-old has struggled greatly for game time this season. Many had hoped that, after making England's World Cup squad, Loftus-Cheek would be able to cement a permanent place in Chelsea's first team, but the midfielder regularly fails to make the matchday squad. Instead, the likes of Jorginho, Ross Barkley and Mateo Kovacic are all enjoying regular minutes.
Speaking to The Daily Express, Parlour insisted Chelsea should try to integrate Loftus-Cheek, but claims they would not prevent him from leaving the club permanently. He said: “He is getting more opportunities now and I thought it was very positive what Sarri said about trying to get both [Barkley and Loftus-Cheek] in the team, which could happen.
“All they've got to do is keep putting in those performances and really put pressure on the manager then who knows.
“There's a certain time in your career when you've got to play on a regular basis. They've now got to decide when that's going to be.
“Whether their representatives do that or whether the manager will or whether they will themselves. I'm sure the club won't stand in their way if they say: 'Look, we need to go and play’.”
With Sarri's specific requirements of his midfielders, Barkley, Loftus-Cheek and Kovacic are all vying for one position in the lineup, with Jorginho and N'Golo Kante occupying the remaining two positions.
Kante, who has emerged as one of the world's finest defensive midfielders in recent years, has moved into a more advanced role to allow Jorginho to sit at the base of the midfield trio and dictate the tempo of the match. However, many have suggested that the duo should switch positions, with Jorginho's defensive weakness and Kante's attacking frailties regularly on show.
Should Sarri decide he would like a midfielder who is more capable of making an impact in attack, he could opt to field two of Kovacic, Barkley and Loftus-Cheek instead of Kante, which would create more opportunities for all three.