Andre Villas-Boas has confirmed that Chelsea never considered letting Daniel Sturridge leave Stamford Bridge during the summer transfer window.
The 22-year-old forward made his first appearance of the season against Sunderland on Saturday, having been suspended for the Blues' initial early season run-in.
And Sturridge was able to make an instant impression during his maiden competitive match under Villas-Boas, scoring the vital second goal at the Stadium of Light, as Chelsea secured a 2-1 victory on the road.
Both Liverpool and Tottenham had been linked with moves for Sturridge during prior to the transfer deadline but, says Villas-Boas, there was no way the former Manchester City youngster was ever leaving west London.
"We had a lot of teams calling Daniel to take him on loan during the transfer window but it was never going to happen," said the Chelsea boss.
"The technical staff and I all had the feeling we should bring him in. We have an outstanding player.
"There is competition for all the main forward positions and it's important we have that."
Sturridge, meanwhile, is thankful for the opportunity Villas-Boas has afforded him, with the Portuguese so far showing extreme faith in his young prodigy.
"I'm so happy that the manager has put so much faith in me," commented Sturridge.
"It's been a bit frustrating because I've been suspended for the start of the season and I didn't know if the manager was going to put me straight back in the team.
"But I'm happy that he did, even though we'd won the last two games. The future hopefully is for me to continue playing games in the team, successfully with the team winning games.
"We want to get medals back to Chelsea, the ones we didn't get last season."