Whether he will win a permanent place, or be farmed out on loan and forgotten, remains to be seen, but Ruben Loftus-Cheek impressed on his full debut for the Blues.

The 6ft 3in teenager started in the Nemanja Matic position in front of the back four against Liverpool, linking up well with Mikel and confidently stroking the ball around midfield with ease and grace.

The second half saw the Reds move up a gear, and Loftus-Cheek was subbed, but he showed enough promise to earn another outing before this memorable season ends.

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if he was allowed to develop at Stamford Bridge, instead of becoming just another loanee?

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After all, whatever became of Josh McEachran, John Swift, Marco van Ginkel, Gael Kakuta and Oriol Romeu; moved out “temporarily” to gain first-team experience and – to date – unrecalled. Out of sight, out of mind.

Encouragingly, Jose Mourinho believes in Ruben.

“He’s going to be a Chelsea player… that’s no doubt,” insisted the manager after the Blues had held Liverpool to a 1-1 draw, effectively extinguishing their Champions League dream, just as they’d ended the Scousers’ title hopes this time last year.

The ovation that Steven Gerrard was given by Chelsea fans when he was substituted in the second half was immediately followed by a hearty chorus of the terrace song commemorating the midfielder landing on his bottom a year ago, thereby allowing Demba Ba to score.

Mourinho interpreted this mixed message as “respect for an old, dear enemy”, but if the song crosses the Atlantic and surfaces when Gerrard plays for LA Galaxy, that view may have to be revised.

Certainly the Liverpool number eight regarded the brief pause in hostilities less charitably.

So two fixtures remain – away at West Brom, and at home to Sunderland. The trophy will be formally presented on the last day, when, to the Black Cats’ alarm, Jose will field his most experienced first team.