18 year old has been progressing through Chelsea’s academy for more than a decade.
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Jose Mourinho has confirmed that he will hand youngster Rubens Loftus-Cheek his Chelsea debut in the Blues last Champions League group game with Sporting Lisbon tomorrow.
The match is effectively a dead rubber with the Blues having confirmed their status as Group G winners and already into the last 16 as a seeded side.
The 18 year old is just one of a number of changes for Mourinho’s side, who looks set to drop John Terry, Eden Hazard and Willian whilst he has the chance – with the congested Christmas fixture list looming on the horizon.
Speaking at his pre-match press conference, the Chelsea manager was quoted by London Evening Standard as saying: “I am so happy to give the kids a chance. He is an English player, 18, completely made in Chelsea. If he succeeds it’s good.
“I don’t know if he will start, but he will play. One month ago he played in Lisbon in [Under-19 Champions League] so you can imagine the difference between facing the Sporting academy in front of 1000 fans and to play against Sporting in real Champions League at Stamford Bridge with 45,000 fans and all the lights on him.”
Loftus-Cheek has been at the West London club for over a decade and has been training with the first team this week in anticipation of the match.
“It’s amazing for me. I have been with the team since eight so it’s great for me. We are very aware of that (John Terry being last academy product to be regular in first team). It’s a good squad, but we have some good talent coming through,” said the 18 year old.
Other Blues youngsters Nathan Ake and Mitchell Beeney also took part in Chelsea training earlier today and could yet be involved in tomorrow night’s match.