Michael Hector's improbable Chelsea journey is only just beginning. A few days after rumors leaked of Chelsea earmarking him for a potential first-team role next season (it certainly helps that he's homegrown, one would assume), here comes a glowing review from interim manager Guus Hiddink.
"He returned from Reading with Lucas Piazon, he's been participating well. For me, it was new to see him live and I spoke briefly to him."
"The speed of action has increased for him and he had to adapt a bit in the first session, but he's a quick learner. He has to adapt to the pace of the game and the pace of training but it's a matter of time."
-Guus Hiddink; source: Chelsea FC
Hiddink has always placed strong emphasis on his in-person evaluations of younger players; it's why it took a few games and training sessions before he was willing to give playing time to the likes of Kenedy, Bertrand Traoré, Ruben Loftus-Cheek, and even Jake Clarke-Salter (and also why it took forever to get Pato and Miazga on the pitch). So Hector's just following that progression as well, and so far showing quite well, it would appear.
Unfortunately, he won't be eligible to actually play for the team until pre-season, at which point he'll have to pass Conte's gauntlet. But if Hiddink's correct in his assessment, perhaps there is indeed some hope for Hector at Chelsea, unlikely as that may be.