Chelsea boss Guus Hiddink believes that Ruben Loftus-Cheek has a promising future ahead of him after he scored his first senior goal for the club against Scunthorpe.
The 19-year-old came off the bench to seal Chelsea’s passage through to the next round with a beautifully taken goal, the second in a 2-0 victory.
The midfielder struggled to earn a place in the side under former manager Jose Mourinho despite the club’s poor form but he will hope to be given more chances under his new boss.
Chelsea have been criticised for rarely giving their academy products opportunities in the first-team but Loftus-Cheek could be the youngster to buck that trend.
Hiddink admits that he won’t be afraid to put his faith in the youngsters in the coming months after what he’s seen so far in his short spell.
“We have these youngsters and I know them now after three or four weeks, I know their abilities and it’s a possibility, an option, I don’t hesitate to bring them (in).”
When asked about Loftus-Cheek specifically, Hiddink spoke highly of the Englishman.
“Well he can be of big value now," the Dutchman said.
"He’s 19 and he’s important. I thought he was 22, 23 when I came in. He has the physique of a grown player already but he’s 19.”
Although it appears that Hiddink will be willing to play Loftus-Cheek in the future, he’s aware that the club will need to protect him as well.
“We have to be careful on one hand, on the other hand we don’t hesitate because we’re in a difficult situation to get fourth place in the Premier League, then I say ‘Ok let’s give them a try - it will probably happen more,” Hiddink said.
With Chelsea languishing in 14th place in the Premier League, 13 points off the top four, it is surely the ideal time to give youngsters some game time in the Premier League.