Chelsea manager Guus Hiddink has promoted academy player Jake Clarke-Salter to the first-team following the recent injury to Kurt Zouma, which is set to see him being sidelined for the next six months at least. The French defender damaged his anterior cruciate ligament during the clash against Manchester United and has since undergone surgery in his homeland.
The Dutch manager, who has seen the Blues remain undefeated in the league since his arrival, is not overly concerned with regards to the cover available for Zouma, despite John Terry and out-of-favour defender Gary Cahill the only two experienced centre-backs in the squad apart from Matt Miazga, who was signed during the January transfer window from MLS outfit New York Red Bulls. He has revealed that he is not afraid to blood in the youngsters if necessary before the end of the season.
Hiddink has now confirmed that Chelsea's FA Youth Cup side's captain Clarke-Salter has been elevated to the first-team and will provide backup until the end of the season. He is also confident that Miazga can be called upon in case either of Terry or Cahill need a rest as they compete in three different competitions.
"Matt moves up, and also I have the kid from the academy [Clarke-Salter] who is now with us," Hiddink said, as quoted by the Metro.
"He is coming up from the academy, but also Matt who has been with us a few weeks already."
"Physically, Miazga is okay. We will see what happens next week. He is a youngster but one who is coming into the national team of the USA which is not a small team. He has to get used to our way of playing which is a little faster but he adapts himself quickly, he is very professional and we don't have any doubts if he is needed," the former PSV Eindhoven manager explained, as quoted by Chelsea's official site.