Champions League

Loftus-Cheek set for debut

2014-12-10 12:44
Ruben Loftus-Cheek (Supplied)
Ruben Loftus-Cheek (Supplied)
Cape Town - Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho has confirmed that teenager Ruben Loftus-Cheek will make his debut against Sporting Lisbon on Wednesday evening.

The 18-year-old will be given the chance to impress on the biggest stage in European football as the Portuguese tactician looks to rest some of his key players with top spot in Group G already assured.

While the midfielder is not guaranteed to start, he will definitely feature at some point during the clash at Stamford Bridge.

And Mourinho has expressed his delight at being able to give Loftus-Cheek his opportunity to shine, telling the club's official website: "One month ago he played in Lisbon, in the UEFA Youth League, so you can imagine the difference between playing at the Sporting academy in front of maybe 1000 fans and then one month later playing against Sporting in the real Champions League at Stamford Bridge, in front of 40,000 with the lights on him.

"To be here since he was eight and to have the chance to play his first Chelsea game is every kid's dream," Football411 quotes him as saying.

"He wasn't one of the players to start the season with me but the way he is training every time he comes gives me a guarantee of his quality and ambitions.

"I'm so happy to give kids a chance, especially when I feel they have the tools to answer well and have a career at Chelsea.

"He's a young, English player, 18, completely made in Chelsea, and if he succeeds it's brilliant."

Mourinho added: "If you look at other clubs it's clear to see that it's not easy to bring kids from youth team football to the top level, but I think every one of us has the same feeling, we want to do it.

"So tomorrow is Ruben's day but it's also the Academy's day because it's a clear message the first team is sending to them; work, work and with the right talent, the right moment will always arrive.

"The first time Ruben trained with me was 18 months ago, in the last two or three weeks it's been every day, and in that 18 months he remembers every word and piece of feedback he's had.

"The Academy and the people who work there, at this moment, know they are working for something."

Read more on:    chelsea  |  champions league  |  soccer
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