Chelsea youngster Ruben Loftus-Cheek has everything he needs to become a great footballer and is working hard to become a first-team player at Stamford Bridge, according to fellow Blues player and Brazil international Willian.
Having made seven Premier League appearances over the past two seasons, the 20-year-old midfielder is one of the most highly-rated talents to emerge from the club’s youth academy in recent years.
He made his senior debut in the Champions League in 2014 against Sporting Lisbon replacing Cesc Fabregas for the final minutes of the game.
Although Loftus-Cheek has only started four league games since 2014, and is yet to finish a full 90 minutes in the Premier League or Champions League, Willian has been impressed by what he has seen so far.
“This boy has a brilliant future,” said the 27-year-old free-kick specialist. “He has everything needed to become a great footballer. He’s a quality player and works hard in every training session.”
Loftus-Cheek scored his first senior goal for the club in the FA Cup in January 2016 in another landmark substitute appearance, this time against Scunthorpe.
In doing so he became the first player since Carlton Cole in 2006 to score for the Blues having been at the club since before the age of 15.
It is a feat that was previously set by John Terry, another former Chelsea academy graduate, who Willian recently hailed as the greatest player in the club’s history during an interview with Squawka.
Regardless of whether Loftus-Cheek can follow his outgoing captain in building his own trophy-laden career at Stamford Bridge, his Brazilian teammate believes the midfielder is a special talent who must be handled correctly in order to fulfil his promise.
“I think Chelsea must look after him with much affection,” said the Premier League-winning winger. “He has an enormous potential.”
Loftus-Cheek has represented England at Under-16, Under-17, Under-19 and Under-21 level and has won the UEFA Youth League, the Under-21 Premier League title and the FA Youth Cup twice in 2012 and 2013 as a Chelsea youth player.
He has played only four minutes of senior league football since Guus Hiddink took over as caretaker manager from Jose Mourinho.