Date: 21st June 2018 at 2:27pm
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Simon Phillips believes that Loftus-Cheek should start for !

There is a lot of talk at Chelsea regarding young players getting over-hyped and overrated. While I agree that this is the case with ‘some’ players, I urge us to start rewarding and celebrating some of the pure and clear talents that we do have at the club. Allow them to express themselves in training, and reward them with game time. Do this, and watch them shine.

One of those young players is currently in Russia competing for the world’s most major trophy, but he is yet to have any substantial game time with the club he has been at since the age of 8. This MUST change in 2018-19. I don’t want to see be a part of Chelsea’s squad next season; I want to see him promised an integral role as part of the starting eleven alongside N’Golo Kante, as one of the first players on that team sheet.

Overhyping? Hell no. Realism? Absolutely. Let’s face it, if Loftus-Cheek was at Everton since the age of 8, he would already be off the back of his second ‘coming of age’ season, and Chelsea would be linked with signing him for £50 million, that’s undeniable.

The 22-year old has spoken out about his future and has admitted that unless Chelsea can offer him substantial game time next season, he will be forced to think about his future. And why on earth would he not be thinking that way? He’s not a boy anymore; he’s approaching an age that will be pivotal for his own career and his development. He’s an ambitious player that wants to reach the very top, and he can do that if backed and supported.

Not only is he ready to be a Chelsea first team player, but he’s also prepared to be an indispensable member of that first team squad, and will be talked about like Eden Hazard and N’Golo Kante as the players we cannot be without when they’re out injured for example.

Hazard has spoken about wanting to see more quality players arrive at Chelsea. Believe me, Loftus-Cheek has that desired quality and would build an excellent understanding and link up with the Belgian international. We don’t need to go seeking the next big thing in that role or seek out a big name signing; we have a quality full England international who is waiting in the wings.

Loftus-Cheek would be distraught to leave Chelsea, but he’s got to be real with himself. We always talk about players at the club who have a passion for Chelsea. Leaders like John Terry and Frank Lampard, we always discuss how the club lacks those type of players currently. Well, players like Loftus-Cheek and even Callum Hudson-Odoi can grow into those types, they’ve been within the clubs setup since a young age and are proud to wear the shirt.

I’ve watched Ruben since he was a young kid, he’s grown into a confident and competent player, who has full belief in his ability and has now developed the maturity and attitude to go alongside his undoubted talent. He is one of those rare players who has every chance to become world class. If we don’t want him to do that elsewhere, then we must give him that first team starting role and tell him that the clubs plans this season see him as an integral part of that midfield.

Build the team next season around a core of Christensen, Kante, Loftus-Cheek and Hazard and let them express themselves.

What are your thoughts? Let us know!