Ruben Loftus-Cheek is a huge talent and on Sunday the 19-year-old midfielder proved exactly why Jose Mourinho rates him so highly.
Playing in a U-21 game against Liverpool at Chelsea’s Cobham training ground, Loftus-Cheek picked up the ball around the halfway line and dribbled past five opponents before calmly slotting home. Sure, it was in a U-21 game, but still, it was hugely impressive.
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With Mourinho watching on from the stands on Sunday — remember, he was banned from being in the stadium as Chelsea lost 1-0 to Stoke City at the Britannia on Saturday — he must surely feel that Loftus-Cheek is ready to be given a chance with the first team as their dismal run continues after seven defeats in 12 games to open the Premier League season.
The defending champs could certainly do a lot worse than giving Loftus-Cheek a chance to shine. His composure on the ball is clear and after he was given a few run-outs last season, Mourinho kept him around to be part of the first team squad instead of sending him out on loan. Now, especially after producing goals like this, it is time for the Londoner to be given a chance in the starting lineup for the struggling Blues. Along with Bertrand Traore, Kenedy and Ola Aina, Mourinho now has a crop of youngsters itching to get a look in the first team. Add to that the 34 youngsters Chelsea currently have out on loan across Europe, and Mourinho has plenty of options to bring fresh blood into the team if he so chooses in January.
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Are these teenagers ready? Surely they can’t perform any worse than the established Chelsea stars are right now. With Nemanja Matic, Cesc Fabregas and John Obi Mikel struggling, surely now is the time to give Loftus-Cheek a good run of games in the first team. Especially as he is capable of doing things like this straight from the kick off…