Sunday, July 23, 2017

Cahill backs Loftus-Cheek to replicate Alli rise

Ruben Loftus-Cheek has all the attributes to match the impact of Tottenham’s Dele Alli, according to Chelsea team-mate Gary Cahill.

Loftus-Cheek scored his first Chelsea goal on Sunday in a 2-0 FA Cup third-round win at home to Scunthorpe United.

Manager Guus Hiddink said the 19-year-old midfielder could be of big value to the club and defender Cahill sees no reason why Loftus-Cheek cannot replicate the rise of fellow teenager Alli, who has broken into the England team thanks to a fine first season at Spurs.

Cahill said: “Ruben has had a couple of runs in the team and I think he is a top, top player. If you look at attributes, he’s got all the attributes. It’s just how he progresses.

“Obviously, that’s down to him getting a few chances and down to himself so it will be interesting to see how he does progress but for me, he has got everything that you need to become a top player. Dele Alli’s rise has been incredibly fast and why can’t he (Loftus-Cheek) do it?

“I’m delighted for him. With the quality in the team and especially in his position, he’s had to be patient. He’s worked really hard in training, he’s a great kid, he works really hard at his game … and he wants to be involved, he wants to play. He’s shown that patience.

“But it’s not just his goal, it was his performance. It was great. As a young boy, you just want to do everything right when you come on and especially when you come on at home, with the crowd here.

“You may not get too many opportunities when you are younger so to come on and do as well as he did – I’m really pleased for him.”

The next opportunity for Loftus-Cheek to impress could come at home to West Brom in the Premier League on Wednesday.

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