Mauricio Pochettino has his own John Stones as highly-rated Chelsea star reveals ambitious plan


For Levi Colwill, life has been a whirlwind these past few weeks. Just a month after making his Chelsea debut, the 20-year-old spoke like a man beyond one’s years in front of a baying England press pack.

Should, as expected, Colwill make his Three Lions bow against either Ukraine or Scotland, he will have done so after just four Premier League appearances. But the spotlight - or Mauricio Pochettino’s summer challenge - does not faze him.

Upon arrival at in West London, the Argentine insisted Colwill’s path to the first team was not guaranteed. Anybody who has paid a minute’s notice to events at Stamford Bridge in recent years would refuse to argue otherwise.

Cobham has unleashed a conveyor belt of talent on the footballing world but few stick around in the first team. Former golden boy Mason Mount sought pastures new in the summer while Callum Hudson-Odoi and Ruben Loftus-Cheek were also shipped out.

Pochettino hailed Colwill, the next cab off the rank, ahead of the campaign but insisted his academy graduate status would not inherit any nepotism. The Chelsea boss said: “At the moment, I need to see him and get to know him better,” Pochettino said. “He is a fantastic talent of course. We were talking about the things that we can help improve his game in all areas.

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“He is so relaxed, calm and I enjoy talking to him. He has great character and personality. I am so happy to have him in the squad and to have this opportunity to work together.

“For sure, he is going to play. The possibility of playing because Benoit (Badiashile) is injured and higher because he is left and will compete with Benoit. He needs to deserve it, it's not because of one player’s injury. He needs to show that he is ready to play.”

As a ball-playing but tough defender, Colwill is under no illusions about where he stands in the modern game. The 6ft 2in centre-back believes he is a product of his environment and, under a forward-thinking manager like Pochettino, his game is only going to improve further.

Colwill listed England teammate John Stones - a defender capable of playing out from the back while mixing it with the target men - as the blueprint to follow. He told reporters: “Football has changed a lot, due to managers' tactics. It suits me a lot being a defender who likes to play football. I like to start attacks from the back.

"Definitely now, John Stones (who Colwill looks up to). I think watching him, he’s an amazing player. He's so calm on the ball. If I want to improve myself, I have to watch these players.

“It's the same with Thiago Silva. I remember being young and watching him. Technically amazing and so calm on the ball."

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