Chelsea youngster Ruben Loftus-Cheek should retain place for Arsenal clash


Jose Mourinho is not a manager afraid to use his young players - something we have seen at various stages of his managerial career.

Nor is he afraid to axe his star players - those that are underperforming in his eyes - with evidence of this the overhaul of players during Chelsea's Champions League fixture against Maccabi Tel Aviv on Wednesday.

The decision to introduce some fresh faces was one that paid off for the Portuguese, and one that could indeed could prove fruitful in answering their early-season issues through the use of the copious amount of young talent available in the Blues' ranks.


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Wednesday's opener saw Mourinho make six changes to the side who were so disappointing against Everton at the weekend - Nemanja Matic, John Terry, Branislav Ivanovic and Diego Costa were amongst those dropped.

Throughout the new season, Mourinho has consistently named youthful looking benches, with the likes of Kenedy, Bertrand Traore and Rubén Loftus-Cheek earning a seat for several games.

And we saw just how impressive some of that young talent is against Maccabi. Loftus-Cheek came in for his first start, replacing the under-fire Matic, and looked at complete ease in the holding role, despite a first-minute booking.

For such a young man he has a massive frame, not too dissimilar to Matic, and has the same unique qualities that has catapulted Matic to be one of - if not the - best holding midfielder in world football.

Chelsea FC v Maccabi Tel-Aviv FC - UEFA Champions League

He looks composed on the ball, and was often the starting point for Chelsea attacks as they cruised to a 4-0 victory, raising the question of whether it's at all possible for Mourinho to now drop him for the Arsenal game this weekend.

The 19-year-old midfielder was arguably Chelsea's best player against Maccabi and was somehow overlooked for the man of the match award, which went to Cesc Fabregas, another player under pressure to perform.

He carried the ball with purpose from deep positions, spraying the ball about with conviction and looking so nonchalant in the process.


It is promising early signs for the future of Chelsea Football Club, and it just shows the calibre of player Chelsea can produce should Mourinho be bold enough to include them in his squad.

The last English central midfield talent to come through an academy and make it was Jack Wilshere, and whilst the Arsenal man has endured a plague-filled career so far, there's little doubt that Loftus-Cheek can emulate the success of his countryman.

The Lewisham-born midfielder was on the receiving end of praise from Mourinho following his confident performance and has consistently been likened to fellow youngster and Juventus star Paul Pogba.


And whilst it's still early days, if he can solidify his position in Chelsea's starting line-up there's no reason why he can't push on and strive towards offering the Blues what Pogba ultimately could have.

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