Chelsea manager mistook FA Cup wonderkid for 23-year-old due to size

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At 6’3″ (1.91m) Chelsea youngster Ruben Loftus-Cheek can probably pass himself off as a much older man when he goes out, and is usually going to one of the tallest players on the pitch at any given time. He sells an older appearance so well that even his own coaches think he’s several years older than he actually is.

According to the Metro, Chelsea manager Guus Hiddink confessed to believing that the 19-year-old Loftus-Cheek was either 22 or 23 years old when he first took over the team back in December. Hiddink added that Loftus-Cheek demonstrated remarkable patience during his performance in the FA Cup this weekend.

‘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.

‘It was a lovely clean finish. He waits, he waits, he waits and he comes in at the right moment.

‘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 scored the game-sealing goal against Scunthorpe United in a 3-0 FA Cup victory that sent the Blues to the fourth round of the tournament – his first career goal. He made his debut with the Chelsea first-team in the 2014-15 season after spending his entire youth career in the Chelsea academy.

Under former manager Jose Mourinho, Loftus-Cheek was given only limited reps despite frequent struggles from his own midfield.

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