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Ivanovic praises Loftus-Cheek and other Chelsea youngsters

Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

With the title already wrapped up, Sunday's match against Liverpool had the potential to be a relatively dull affair. Luckily for Chelsea fans though, they still had something to be excited about, with Ruben Loftus-Cheek being handed his first Premier League start.

Loftus-Cheek did well, and manager Jose Mourinho confirmed that we're likely to see more youngsters between now and the end of the season as well. That seems to be fine by Branislav Ivanovic, who was full of praise for the current crop coming through the academy:

'We have a great generation of young players. They improve during training with us and they can be competitive in the team. They can make our squad bigger and in the future we can really think about them."

'It's not just Ruben. We have a minimum of five-six players who can be in our squad and it is great for the manager to give them a chance to play. They showed the can play in training and in the next couple of games they will get a chance. It's a great motivation for them. They're still young, they need to fight. This is the period, the next one or two years, where they need to prove they are really good.'

'A lot of the day was about him. He impressed everyone and I hope this in just the beginning of a big career. What I liked was that he kept everything simple, he put the base high up the pitch. He can do a lot more than he showed against Liverpool, but it's great. He just needs the chance.'

'It's the most difficult thing to find that balance. We are a team that want to win. But when we have to give young players the chance to play and grow as players with us. It's important for us next season to have a bigger squad.'

It's nice to see players praising the quality coming through, as well as reinforcing the need for the Blues to have a deeper squad next season. Like Ivanovic, I'm really looking forward to seeing several of these youngsters get the chance to shine in the next several seasons.

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