Chelsea manager Guus Hiddink expects young midfielder Ruben Loftus-Cheek to be a valuable addition to the squad after bagging his first goal for the senior team.
The 19-year-old English midfielder is rated as the best talent to emerge from Chelsea’s academy in recent years, and scored the second goal in their 2-0 win over Scunthorpe United in the FA Cup on Sunday with a cool finish into the bottom corner.
“It was a lovely clean finish,” Hiddink told BT Sport. “He waits, he waits, he waits and he comes in at the right moment.
“We have these youngsters and I know them now after three to four weeks and I know their abilities and when it’s a possibility, an option I don’t hesitate to bring them in.
“He can be of big value now. He’s 19 [but] I thought he was 22, 23 when I came in, he’s a proper grown player already but he’s 19 – we have to be careful on the one hand and on the other I said ‘hey guys, get it done’ and we didn’t hesitate.”
Loftus-Cheek has been on the fringes of the first team for a while now but only made occasional, fleeting appearances for Jose Mourinho, although he hopes to feature more regularly under the Dutch coach.
“I was really happy to just to be on the pitch and it’s even better to score my first goal and I will remember this for ever,” he told the club’s official website.
“I will carry on being patient and I will just try to enjoy it. I am really pleased to play for the manager, he is a really nice man as well as a good manager. We are really motivated to keep winning and it is good to have wins on the trot now, and we have to keep that going.”