Ruben Loftus-Cheek revealed he was enthralled the first few times he trained alongside Andreas Christensen at Chelsea.
Speaking to the Football Daily, Loftus-Cheek recalled the initial meetings between himself and the centre-back on the Cobham pitches.
Christensen and the midfielder were raised side-by-side through the academy, although their relationship became fragmented following the move to senior football.
Going their own way
The defender went on loan to Borussia Monchengladbach between 2015 and 2017, a move that really aided his development.
Upon his permanent return to Stamford Bridge, the Denmark international took a while to cement his place in the team.
It arguably wasn’t until Thomas Tuchel arrived that Christensen’s true colours shone through; they have been beaming brightly ever since.
Loftus-Cheek meanwhile made his Chelsea debut in 2014 and stuck around for three years before joining Crystal Palace on loan.
The Achilles injury suffered the season after really stunted the Englishmen’s growth.
A loan spell at Fulham last year helped regain fitness and confidence, which has allowed him to reintegrate into Tuchel’s squad.
It is pretty poetic that the pair are now partners again and playing regularly for their beloved club.
“I remember quite clearly when Andreas came in, about 15 years old. I was the one who got asked to show him about, show him his locker,” recollected Loftus-Cheek about his first meeting with Christensen.
“He was really shy. He still is, but imagine that as a 15-year-old. He could speak English well but he didn’t want to speak, just bossed it on the pitch and went inside.
“I remember he was incredible with the ball at his feet, stepping in.
“His passing and reading the game. What people don’t see is that he is incredible at reading the game.”
Onlookers have begun to recognise Christensen’s qualities now he is a mainstay in the side.
Even rival managers are taking a shine to the great Dane.
But a dark cloud continues to hang over the centre-half’s head despite his glowing performances.
Next June, Christensen will be out of contract and free to leave Chelsea as a free agent.
Initially, all the signs were pointing towards a renewal.
However, his agent and the Blues hierarchy have hit a snag in the road in regards to negotiations.
With the likes of Barcelona circling, the pressure is on Chelsea to sort out the problem before the New Year.
Otherwise, Loftus-Cheek will be losing his life-long ally.