Chelsea interim boss Guus Hiddink has revealed that he intentionally let Ruben Loftus-Cheek suffer by playing him for the entire match in the 4-0 win over Aston Villa at the weekend.

The 20-year-old, who progressed through Chelsea’s youth system before making his first team debut for the club last season, scored his maiden Premier League goal for the Blues against the Villains.

However, Loftus-Cheek suffered from cramp towards the end of the game, with it being just his second full match for Chelsea this season; the starlet played the full 90 minutes in the 5-1 thrashing of MK Dons in an FA Cup game in late January.

And Hiddink explained that he deliberately played Loftus-Cheek for the entire game at Villa Park, despite seeing the youngster suffer, as he felt it would be a good learning curve for the midfielder. 

“It's important for him to get the substance of games”, Hiddink told the club’s official site.


“He was used to being substituted after one hour but on purpose we let him go and suffer a bit.

“He had the experience of 90 minutes, although it's not the highest tempo game, but they have to experience it.

“He had a little bit of cramp at the end and I said, “Come on, that's good for you!” They have to suffer a bit, that's good.”

Loftus-Cheek has made 12 appearances in all competitions for Chelsea this season, scoring twice and providing three assists.