Gary Cahill believes Chelsea youngster Ruben Loftus-Cheek can follow in the footsteps of Tottenham’s Dele Alli, and become a key player for Chelsea, according to The Daily Mail.

The 19-year-old scored his first senior goal in the Blues’ 2-0 victory over Scunthorpe in the FA Cup on Sunday, after replacing Oscar at half-time.

And Cahill, who also featured for Chelsea at the weekend, sung the praises of the Blues midfielder, and sees no reason why he can’t emulate the success of Alli’s debut season at Spurs.

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The defender said:

Ruben has had a couple of runs in the team and I think he’s a top, top player. If you look at the 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 Ruben do it?

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The England under 21 international, who has been tipped to be the first Chelsea player to break through from the academy ranks into the first team since John Terry, will now be hoping to feature more under Hiddink following his performance at the weekend.

The Blues are back to Premier League action against West Brom on Wednesday evening, with Loftus-Cheek hoping for another run-out following his showing in the FA Cup.

However, Cahill believes the midfielder will have to be patient and take the opportunities when they come, as he did against Scunthorpe.

He added:

With the quality in the team and especially in his position, he has had to be patient. He’s worked really hard in training, he’s a great kid, he works really hard at his game.

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He’s been champing at the bit and he wants to be involved, he wants to play. he’s shown that patience. And sometimes it comes – for example, Oscar getting injured and he came on and took his chance so I was delighted that he got the goal. But it was 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 are at home with the crowd here. You may not get many opportunities when you are younger, so to come on and do as well as he did, I’m really pleased for him.