Loftus-Cheek set for Chelsea debut

Youngster Ruben Loftus-Cheek will make his senior debut for Chelsea in Wednesday’s Champions League game against Sporting Lisbon, manager Jose Mourinho has said.

With his side already through to the knockout phase, Mourinho plans to rest Eden Hazard, Willian and skipper John Terry for the final Group G game.

And he will hand a chance to 18-year-old midfielder Loftus-Cheek, who has impressed for the Blues’ Under-21 side and played for England at various youth levels, having joined Chelsea at the age of eight.

“To be here since he was eight and to have the chance to play his first Chelsea game is every kid’s dream,” Mourinho said.

“The way he is training, he gives me the guarantee of his quality and the guarantee of his ambition.

“I am so happy to give the kid a chance – and especially when I feel they have the tools to make a career at Chelsea. He is completely made in Chelsea.”

Mourinho, who says Diego Costa will start up front against Sporting, also suggested that Loftus-Cheek will keep training with the first team in the new year.

“I think the best thing is to stay with the first team in the second part of the season from January, to try to push his development further,” he explained.

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