Chelsea legend Didier Drogba is claiming some of the credit for the progress made by Tammy Abraham, with the 21-year-old having taken important lessons from stars of the past.
A highly-rated academy graduate at Stamford Bridge has had to be patient in his pursuit of first-team opportunities for the Blues.
Useful experience has been picked up during a series of loan spells, but the 2019-20 campaign has presented the England international with an opportunity to prove himself on the grandest of stages.
He has made the most of a chance afforded to him by Frank Lampard, with a recent hot streak seeing him net seven times across three Premier League games.
That run includes a hat-trick against Norwich which saw him become the youngest player to claim a top-flight match ball for the Blues.
Drogba is delighted to see the potential being unlocked in a player who was making his way through the system when he was still terrorising defences for Chelsea.
The Blues legend, who netted 164 times across two spells in west London, told Sky Sports: “Yeah, I’ve known him [Abraham] since he’s been [very young].
“These are kids we used to see, they used to come and watch us training, and I believe they learned a little bit of our skills, how we read the game.
“So, you know, we’re not surprised because I also trained with them when I used to train with the reserve team.
“It was always a moment for me to give away some skills, some knowledge, and they learnt really fast, really quick.
“So once again, I’m not surprised with what I’ve seen [with Abraham].”
Abraham is not the only home-grown star to be thriving at Chelsea, with Mason Mount and Fikayo Tomori also getting their big breaks.
Both men were on loan at Derby last season, where they worked under Lampard, and the new Blues boss is considered to be taking the right approach in putting his faith in youth.
Drogba added: “I think he [Lampard] is focusing on Chelsea and it happens that he needs to work on young players, to give them a chance.
“Being an ex-player from the club, it helps a lot because we’ve seen all these kids when we were training.
“So, you know, you have to give them a chance and when you do, they deliver.
“They’ve been performing. Of course, there will be maybe a lack of experience in big games like Champions League but I’m not worried.
“I’m really happy with the work that Frank is doing right now. And the fans, and the people who know football, they understand.”