Chelsea captain John Terry has claimed Jose Mourinho's decision to hand Dominic Solanke his first-team debut against Maribor "will have an excellent effect" on the Blues' academy.
After Loic Remy got injured earlier in the game and with Diego Costa out of action, the Portuguese boss handed the 17-year-old striker his debut at Stamford Bide during the 6-0 victory over the Slovenians, replacing Oscar in the 73rd minute.
Having been at the club since 2004, Solanke is considered the next big thing to emerge from the Stamford Bridge academy.
Terry predicts a bright future for the young forward but at the same time believes that Mourinho has sent an exciting message to the academy with his debut.
'I'm really proud of Dom. He's a great young prospect at the club, an Academy boy. He's been here since the age of seven and come through," Terry said to Chelsea official website.
"It sets a precedent for the younger players and now they believe they can get an opportunity if they're good enough and work hard enough. It's not only good for Dom, the effect it will have throughout the Academy will be excellent."
With both Remy and Didier Drogba scoring goals, the captain has claimed that Chelsea's squad have proved they can cope with Costa's absence without any problem.
"We've got a big squad; Didier came on and showed what a great player he still is. The players are showing how important the depth of our squad could be this season. As the manager rightly says, everybody's got a part to play and we've seen that in the last few games," Terry said.
After their Champions League victory, Chelsea will visit Manchester United on Sunday in search to continue an almost perfect start to the Premier League, having dropped just two points from their first eight games.
Terry is confident of securing a good result at Old Trafford but at the same time is aware that Louis van Gaal's side can be a big threat.
"They're still a very good side with world-class players in their team," the centre-back said.
"Results haven't really gone their way so far but we're still aware [that] at Old Trafford it's a hostile atmosphere and they've got great support behind them. We'll go there expecting them to be very good."