Chelsea midfielder Ruben Loftus-Cheek has signed a new contract which ties him to Stamford Bridge until 2021, despite playing just ten minutes of Premier League football in 2016.
The 20-year-old has only made 13 appearances for the reigning Barclays Premier League champions despite making his debut in December 2014.
But now he has penned a fresh contract to stay with his boyhood club, with the England Under-21 international delighted with the deal.
‘The club have done so much for me since I started here as an under-eight and now I want to repay the faith they have shown in me with my performances on the pitch,” he said.
Despite a season of struggles on the pitch for the Blues, which has seen Jose Mourinho depart for a second time and Guus Hiddink again placed in temporary charge, Loftus-Cheek has only made nine appearances across all competitions.
Those limited opportunities are often highlighted when the lack of academy products getting their chance at Stamford Bridge is brought into the spotlight.
Unlike many of Chelsea’s prospects, Loftus-Cheek has never been loaned out and has had to be patient for a chance in the first team.
But Hiddink, speaking ahead of Chelsea’s trip to Norwich, has said Loftus-Cheek will get his opportunities in the coming weeks – even if he cannot promise how many will come.
“In the upcoming match days there will be options as well,” he said.
“We had him in training and made special analysis of the way he has to progress at his age and he’s working on that and it will pay off.
“When I arrived I thought he was 24 or 25. That indicates he has a great future. We work specifically on a plan on what he can improve.
“He’s working on that, it will pay off in the upcoming games. I wont give any guarantees, but he will have his minutes.”