Ruben Loftus-Cheek
Ruben Loftus-Cheek already promised a first team role next season by Jose MourinhoGetty

Ruben Loftus-Cheek could be joined by another five youngsters in the Chelsea first team next season, according to Branislav Ivanovic.

Loftus-Cheek, 19, was handed his Premier League debut against Liverpool on 10 May and won widespread praise for his performance in midfield before being withdrawn after an hour.

Manager Jose Mourinho has already promised the midfielder a place in his first-team squad next season and Ivanovic believes he could be joined by a host of other new faces who are ready to prove they are ready for a prominent role at Stamford Bridge.

"We have a great generation of young players. They improve during training with us and they can be competitive in the team," Ivanovic was quoted as saying by the Evening Standard.

"They can make our squad bigger and in the future really think about them, it's great. It's not just Ruben. We have five or six players who can be in our squad and it is great for the manager to give them a chance to play.

"I am talking about Dominic Solanke, Izzy Brown, Andreas Christensen, Nathan Ake – the guys who are already with us in training. In the next couple of games [against West Bromwich Albion and Sunderland] they will get a chance. It is a great motivation for them.

"They are 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.

"It is the most difficult thing to find balance because we are a team that want to win. But when we have the chance for young players to grow as players with us, it is great."

Brown and Solanke, the latter who made his debut for the club in a Champions League tie in October 2014, will both be hoping to earn first-team chances having played integral roles in the club's recent FA Youth Cup success, their fourth triumph in the past six years.

The duo was also involved in the Under-19 squad that won the Uefa Youth League in April, as was Denmark Under-21 international Christensen.

Ake, 20, who has also played for the first team this season in Champions League and League Cup games recently returned from a loan spell at Reading.