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Birthday boy Ruben Loftus-Cheek staying strong and trusting Guus Hiddink

Ruben Loftus-Cheek's quest to become to first Chelsea Academy graduate to truly establish himself in the Chelsea first-team continues to tread water, making just about zero progress since the tail end of the 2012-13 season.  Sure, there have been plenty of words and plenty of good intentions and even a few minutes of meaningful on-pitch action, but young Ruben has largely been watching from the sidelines.

Here are more words.

"I do not think [Hiddink] sees me as a young academy player, I think he sees me as a first-team player who can help the team. But being a young player is hard at Chelsea as the facts state that not many young players come through. But I will stay mentally strong and I think that when the time is right to play me, Guus will know and I trust him as a manager."


"It has been a massive learning curve for me this season, as last season I came into the first team and we were winning every week, the atmosphere in the changing room was always jolly and lively. And then this season it has been a bit more different, so that is good for me to see both sides and how strong and close a team has to be to get back to winning ways."

-Ruben Loftus-Cheek; source: Sky

Sounds good.  And maybe one day we'll even get back to winning ways!

Of course, Loftus-Cheek probably won't be starting on Sunday and a bench spot as a substitute isn't guaranteed either.  Still, for the young man who said goodbye to his teenage years today, maybe we'll look back on 2016 one day as the day his legend truly began at Stamford Bridge.

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