Chelsea wonderkid talks £1.7m pro deals, the FA Youth Cup final and John Terry the role model
13:39 22 April 2013
EXCLUSIVE: Chelsea prodigy Ruben Loftus-Cheek says he will let his football do the talking and not get distracted by the mega contract that is set to make him a millionaire by his 20th birthday.
Last year, the 17-year-old was being monitored by European giants Barcelona before he’d earned a professional contract with the west London club, but last month it was reported that he’d finally put pen-to-paper on a deal worth £1.7million.
On Friday night the England Under-17 international helped holders the Blues to a fourth FA Youth Cup final in six seasons with a 4-1 aggregate victory over Liverpool at Stamford Bridge.
Already 2-0 up from the first leg at Anfield John Swift and Nathan Ake finished the Reds off to back up the claims of Chelsea youth coach Adi Vivash that the club has one of the best academies in the country, while the Lewisham-born midfielder is one of many players in his squad that he has described as “special”.
Indeed his pro deal was headline news earlier this month over the sky-high fee for a player that has yet to make a first team appearance and an alleged tug-of-war between agents, but Loftus-Cheek has tried to distance himself from the off-field circus.
“I don’t want to get caught up in that too much, if people talk, let them but I will let my football do the talking,” he said.
“I’m concentrating on my football now, I’m not looking too far ahead, I’ll just keep trying to play well and we will see what happens from there.”
Though he’s still waiting to make his full senior debut the teen sensation has already trained with the Chelsea first team squad and speaks highly of club captain John Terry being a good influence.
“I’ve had a few training sessions with the first team and I enjoyed it very much, if I keep training once in a while, I’ll be happy,” he said.
“I speak to him [Terry] a lot, he’s always nice to the young ones, he’s helpful in giving you advice and he’s a great role model as well.”
Loftus-Cheek was part of the Chelsea Under-21 side that suffered defeat at the hands of Aston Villa in the final of the NextGen Series last month, but the prospect of playing in his first FA Youth Cup showpiece has gone some way to easing that heartache.
“We’re all over the moon,” he said of the holders booking a two-legged defence of their crown against Norwich City, adding: “Coming back from the NextGen [defeat] and the disappointment was hard but we move on quickly and that is why we are such a good team, we move on from the bad points and move onto the good points.”
The FA Youth Cup final first leg takes place at Carrow Road on April 29, while the return match at Stamford Bridge is yet to be confirmed.