Ruben Loftus-Cheek is set to be handed a run of games in order to impress boss José Mourinho, who has had trouble with his midfielders so far this season.
After Chelsea's 3-1 defeat to Southampton on Saturday, the Blues manager told reporters that Loftus-Cheek will be given chances to break into the Chelsea midfield. Mourinho had this to say: "Clearly it is time...I think Ruben is the one who is more ready. If everything goes during the next two weeks, he is a player to start the next game and have a run of matches to try get that stability as a first-team choice."
Ruben hoping to assert his first-team credentials, sooner rather than later
The youngster has started twice for Chelsea this season, against Maccabi Tel-Aviv in the UEFA Champions League and against Walsall in their Capital One Cup victory away from home. Loftus-Cheek impressed fans in both outings, grabbing an assist in the League Cup game, and is expected to thrive when given his opportunity to challenge for a place in the starting XI.
Mourinho went on to suggest that Chelsea's situation may be "so negative" that "a young players feels less pressure" than when they were top of the league last season. The highly-rated midfielder could be just the solution for Mourinho's midfield, that has been close to non-existent all season.
Fábregas and Matic both struggling for form
Cesc Fábregas has struggled mightily through the first eight games this season, failing to recapture last season's early form while Nemanja Matic has also found form tough to come by. Loftus-Cheek's eventual inclusion against Aston Villa and perhaps further down the road may be a breath of fresh air for the midfield as they hope to finally improve after the international break.
With Mourinho confirming the 19-year-old would start in the Blues first game back from the international break, it would be Loftus-Cheek's first start in the Premier League since facing Liverpool last season and his eighth senior appearance in total for Chelsea.