Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho has claimed he is ready to promote teenager Ruben Loftus-Cheek to the first-team squad from January. He will also give the player his debut during the Champions League game against Sporting Lisbon on Wednesday 10 December.
Having been at Stamford Bridge since the Under-8 age group, the 18-year-old box-to-box midfielder is being considered one of the next big things – he is also a regular for England's Under-16, Under-17 and Under-19 teams.
With a spot at the top of Champions League Group G guaranteed, Mourinho has confirmed he is likely to give Loftus-Cheek a chance to prove his worth in the final group game.
"The way he trains every time he comes and gives me the guarantee of his quality. He gives me the guarantee of his ambition," the manager said, according to the BBC.
"I'm so happy to give kids the chance, especially if I give them the chance and they have the tools to make a career at Chelsea. An English player completely made in Chelsea."
Mourinho also said the best thing for Loftus-Cheek's development was to work with the first team and he will probably bring him into the squad on a permanent basis from January.
The Chelsea manager said: "He has so much to learn and to do that is by being with us. The best thing for his development is to stay with the first team.
"Probably from the new transfer window he will stay with the first team to further his development for the second part of the season."
Mourinho praises the quality of Chelsea's academy
Meanwhile, the manager pointed out that the quality of the academy stars at Stamford Bridge is now much better than during his first spell at the club.
He said: "Every manager in the world wants to bring young people up. Sometimes you have it and sometimes you don't - I can compare my spell here and now. The quality of the youngsters is better. I'm not saying they are ready, maybe a transitional period and a couple of loans - I have the conditions to do it.
"Go to other clubs and you see it's not easy to bring kids through from youth competitions to the top level. But everyone of us has the same feeling. Tomorrow is Ruben day but it's academy day.
"If you don't bring kids through the academy then the best thing is to close the academy. It's better to close the door and use the money to buy the players.
"Now I'm trying to format Ruben and other Rubens. Imagine next week you have a different first-team manager with different ideas you have to start everything again.
"The relation between first team and the academy is changing - it's based on the stability we are having. The first time Ruben trained with me is 18 months ago. The last two to three weeks he is training every day. Stability is important - they feel they are working for something."
Meanwhile, Loftus-Cheek is still cautious about his future at the first team but admits that just having the chance to share time with the likes of John Terry and Didier Drogba is a dream come true.
"I've been at the club since I was eight so to be involved and raining with the first team means a lot to me. John Terry is a great role model for all of the players at the academy and we look up to the likes of him and Drogba," the teenager said.
"All the young players are excited to be getting opportunities and we're confident in our ability to do well. We've got some good talent coming through; it won't be easy to make the breakthrough but we have to be positive."