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Antonio Conte hails Swanley-born Chelsea midfielder Ruben Loftus-Cheek as 'a player with great quality'

PUBLISHED: 13:17 16 January 2017 | UPDATED: 13:17 16 January 2017

Chelsea's Ruben Loftus-Cheek. Photo: Nigel French/PA Wire.

Chelsea's Ruben Loftus-Cheek. Photo: Nigel French/PA Wire.

PA Wire

The Italian has backed the youngster to step into the void vacated by Oscar

Chelsea boss Antonio Conte has put his faith in Swanley-born midfielder Ruben Loftus-Cheek to replace Oscar following the Brazilian’s big-money move to China.

Oscar moved from Stamford Bridge to Shanghai SIPG earlier in the month in a reported £60m deal worth some £500,000 a week.

Though not a regular in the Chelsea line-up, many were wondering if Conte would look to replace Oscar in the January transfer window.

However, following an impressive cameo in the Blues’ 3-0 win over Premier League champions Leicester City on Saturday, the Italian appears to be backing Loftus-Cheek, who attended High Firs Primary and then Orchards Academy, to step up and play a bigger role for the title favourites in the second half of the season.

“I trust all my players, Ruben is a player with great quality,” he said.

“Now I think after Oscar left he could have the right space to show me and the club his potential.”

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