Guus Hiddink was full of praise for Ruben Loftus-Cheek after the youngster scored his first goal for Chelsea in the FA Cup win against Scunthorpe.
The 19-year-old midfielder, on as a half-time substitute, netted the Blues’ second goal in their 2-0 victory at Stamford Bridge.
And manager Hiddink hopes it was a sign of things to come for Loftus-Cheek and several other young players the club are keen to see make an impact at first-team level.
“Ruben scored a beautiful goal and that was good to see,” said Hiddink, who also brought on Kenedy and Bertrand Traore.
“Players coming in from the academy is always the objective. I’ve been at other clubs and didn’t hesitate to bring in young players.
“When you bring a youngster in it is good. It’s always difficult when you bring them in because you don’t want to give them too much responsibility at this stage of their career, but I’m very pleased with their performances.
“I’ve started to know them now I’ve been working with them. I knew their names but now I work with them on a daily basis and am starting to see what they have and what they need to work on.”
Loftus-Cheek has operated in central midfield and further forward, so there has been some debate over his best position and whether he should be deployed in the number 10 role.
“It depends how you play,” said Hiddink. “If you have one defensive, controlling midfielder and two running players, he can play on either side.
“And when you play with two controlling midfield players and one high in midfield he can do that.
“For these young guys it is also important, because of the intensity of the Premier League, to work hard. If you play in that number 10 role you are almost excused from that.”