By Chelsea correspondent Tony Hughes
Ruben Loftus-Cheek has signed a new five-year Chelsea contract, the club confirmed on Monday afternoon.
The England Under-21 midfielder has agreed the terms of a deal that will keep him at Stamford Bridge until 2021.
It will replace his current agreement, which was due to expire in the summer of 2017, after Loftus-Cheek accepted that the conditions are in place for him to become the first player in a generation to make the leap from the academy to regular first-teamer.
Loftus-Cheek has been at Chelsea since the age of eight, with his arrival even pre-dating the Frank Arnesen years when the club’s academy went on an aggressive programme of recruitment under their former Danish director of football.
“I’m delighted to sign a new contract at Chelsea and my focus is on working hard in training every day in order to push on and establish myself in the team,” Loftus-Cheek told the Chelsea website. “It really means a lot because this shows the club believe in me so I’m really happy.
“The club have done so much for me since I started here as an Under-8 and now I want to repay the faith they’ve shown in me with my performances on the pitch.”
Former boss Jose Mourinho called into question Loftus-Cheek’s work-rate after substituting him at half-time on one occasion.
Since Mourinho’s departure, Loftus-Cheek has scored his first senior goal for the club and he has made nine first-team appearances in total this season.
In other Chelsea news, Pedro is a doubt for the club’s Champions League showdown against Paris Saint-Germain next week.