It says a lot about how Andreas Christensen is viewed at Chelsea that Antonio Conte was ready to drop David Luiz for the Dane in Sunday’s win over Manchester United.
There are reports that a training-ground bust-up contributes to Luiz being made to watch on from the stands but still, it takes a great deal of confidence to ask a 21-year-old to mark Romelu Lukaku for 90 minutes.
But Christensen had no problems stifling the Belgian, who failed to manage a single touch in Chelsea’s area, and the Blues must believe they’ve found their centre-back of the next decade.
Christensen is one of the many young players to have been loaned out by Chelsea - he spent the past two seasons playing week in, week out for Borussia Monchengladbach - and the club’s former technical director, Michael Emenalo, believes his development is evidence that their strategy works.
"Andreas, unbeknown to him, gave me a wonderful parting gift yesterday because his performance is indicative of what development is all about,” Emenalo, who quit on Monday, told Chelsea TV after the Man United win.
"He's shown great humility to go on loan and work very hard while he was there and gain the experience which is needed.”
Terry backed Christensen for stardom in 2014
Yet Christensen’s rise hasn’t come as much of a surprise to those at Stamford Bridge.
He was given the opportunity to watch John Terry following his arrival in 2012 and the legendary centre-back was among the first to tell the world to watch out for Christensen.
Back in 2014, Terry backed the Denmark international to become “one of the future men for Chelsea” in a prediction that is starting to materialise.
“Believe me, I am sure that he will be a top footballer and one of the future men for Chelsea." Terry told TV2 Sporten, per Sky Sports.
"I talk to him daily, train with him and try to give him as much advice as I can.
"I have always told him that he should chase me and knock me off the team. He should be hungry to take my place in the team.
"For me, Andreas is a brilliant footballer and he will certainly get his chance at Chelsea."
Chelsea fans will feel that it’s been worth the wait.