Jay Dasilva has the ability to emulate his role model Ashley Cole and go on to become a Chelsea great, according to fellow Blues defender Tomas Kalas.
Left-back Dasilva is on loan at Bristol City this season and, after starting on the bench as an understudy to the promising Lloyd Kelly, the 20-year-old is now seeing plenty of action.
Dasilva laid on the winner away at Brentford after coming off the bench early on, and followed up with two more eye-catching displays which underlined just why the Blues have such high hopes for the England Under-21 international.
“In the last three games, he’s impressed everyone,” said defender Kalas, who is also enjoying a loan spell at Ashton Gate.
“He’s looking at his best and I’m really pleased for him. He has a calmness about his play and he’s always had that. In pre-season we were training together so I can see what his strengths are, and he’s a very front-foot player.
“He’s always thinking about what he’s doing and knows what he is doing. Even when he’s under pressure, he keeps calm. That’s his big strength.
“He’s a very confident player. He obviously knows that he’s a good player. He could become another Ashley Cole. There’s still a long way to go, but why not?”
Dasilva said: “It’s huge to have people say something like that. Ashley Cole’s one of my role models as a left-back. Obviously he was a great player for both club and country, so of course he was a big role model for me – he was mainly the player I looked up to.”
The Luton-born defender is one of 11 Chelsea players who featured for Championship clubs two weeks ago, but perhaps he will be one of the few to eventually become a Blues regular.
He was voted player of the season at Charlton during a spell there last term, but he is not just another loan player with unproven potential.
He has already captained England Under-19s to European Championship glory, featured in three FA Youth Cup wins and two Uefa Youth Cup titles, and has his sights of the Under-21 Euros in Italy next summer.
He sees himself as a future club leader too. “It’s definitely something I would like to achieve some day,” he added. “Taking on that kind of responsibility is a big thing, but I would certainly like to take it on.
“For now, I’m really enjoying it. I’ve had a few months to settle in and the boys are all cool. I’m feeling good now and enjoying my time here.”