Lost amidst the swirl of who's rested and who's not for Wednesday night's (relatively meaningless) clash with Sporting Lisbon has been buried a story with more meaningful long-term implications: Ruben Loftus-Cheek, long considered one of our top prospects through the centre of the pitch, is set to get his debut. And, perhaps, set for a little bit more than that.
Here's Jose Mourinho (who brought Loftus-Cheek to the press conference!):
I am so happy to give the kids a chance. He is an English player, 18, completely made in Chelsea. If he succeeds it's good.
-Source: Sky Sports.
Debuts are nice and symbolic, but a line in the article was even more interesting:
Mourinho confirmed he is planning to include Loftus-Cheek in the first-team squad on a permanent basis from January.
Obviously the focus from most of the rest of the media is going to be on tomorrow -- John Terry, Eden Hazard and Willian are all set to be rested) and the weekend -- but Loftus-Cheek coming up to the first team for good is a very welcome development. It's not a sign of having made it, but nevertheless even being in contention for selection marks a major step forward for the teenager, and even if minutes are limited the exposure to the first team in training plus any playing time he does get can only be good for him.
So, congratulations on the pending debut, Ruben. Even more thorough congratulations in the anticipation of much more to come.