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'I know what he is going through' - Loftus-Cheek determined to help Chelsea team-mate Hudson-Odoi

11:00 pm AEDT 8/3/19
Callum Hudson-Odoi Ruben Loftus-Cheek Chelsea 2018-19
The Blues midfielder was hotly tipped to make it big, but he has had to wait patiently to feel like a regular starter at Stamford Bridge

Ruben Loftus-Cheek is hoping Callum Hudson-Odoi will make at Chelsea amid uncertainty over the teenage winger’s long-term future at Stamford Bridge.

Like Hudson-Odoi, Loftus-Cheek was 17 years old when he made his Chelsea debut and was tipped as the next big thing at the club.

The London-born duo are fan favourites at Stamford Bridge, and they have become symbols with the fans, who are keen to see a homegrown player from their academy make it into the first team.

This desire was accelerated by Bayern Munich's persistent January approach to sign Hudson-Odoi, who put in a transfer request after Chelsea were offered £35 million to part with their brightest academy talent.

Bayern are expected to make another approach in the summer, but Loftus-Cheek's assist for Hudson-Odoi's fourth goal of the season against Dynamo Kyiv in the Europa League on Thursday once again delighted the club's home support.

Loftus-Cheek understands what Hudson-Odoi is going through and is keen to help his younger team-mate make a sustained impact at Chelsea.

"The fans have been great with me and Callum. Hopefully, that happens, but we’ll see," Loftus-Cheek said at Stamford Bridge after the win over Dynamo. "I know what he is going through, having been at that age in the first team as well. If I can help him do well, I’d love to do that.

"He is such a good kid and seeing him do so well I’m really happy for him. To give him that assist felt good. I think he is doing so well now, he wants to play. He is young, fresh, has that momentum. He is scoring so, when he doesn’t start and feels he should, it’s part of the game.

"I’ve told him ‘you’re at a big club, you’re young, just keep your head focused and keep doing what you’re doing’, as he did against Dynamo. He came on and did well. If he’s good enough, he’s good enough. I think the manager knows him well.

"He sees him in training every day, and he will make the decision. But Callum is doing well at the minute, and that’s all you can do."

Loftus-Cheek has made just 53 appearances at Chelsea himself, but is now enjoying what could prove to be a breakthrough season of his own at Stamford Bridge, despite having to wait until the age of 23 for it to happen.

The powerful midfielder has used the Europa League as a platform to prove himself to Maurizio Sarri, who seemed initially cautious to use him. However, his contribution of six goals in all competitions has made him hard to ignore and Loftus-Cheek was frustrated not to add another after he missed a second-half chance in his 30-minute cameo against Dynamo.

"I’m still mad about it. I don’t know what happened. I was thinking ‘this is a goal’ and then it went over," he added. "It was a good run, but I’m still mad, that’s all I can say. It would have been way better if I’d scored.

"We know teams are going to be threatened by our attacking play and it is our job to break them down and find ways to get through on goal. Sometimes you play short. Sometimes you see David [Luiz] hitting the long balls to mix it up.

"He (Luiz) has really improved on that. It’s a good weapon for us to use. He played Pedro in a few times."