Jamal Blackman will play in the Premier League one day – whether for Chelsea or someone else – according to Gareth Ainsworth.
The 23 year is yet to make his first team bow at Stamford Bridge, but is turning heads during his loan spell at Wycombe Wanderers, where he is on loan until the new year.
In particular, he made a series of spectacular saves during Saturday's win at Cambridge United, which had manager Ainsworth purring.
He said: “Jamal Blackman will play in the Premier League, and anyone who wants to disagrees with me should watch his second half performance today – he was outstanding. He's behind some cracking keepers, and at a smaller club he would have been higher up the pecking order by now.
“He's an awesome talent to have, and that second half peformance showed what a great player he is. He's in there and it's his fight, that's the biggest thing for me. Sometimes loan players come in and it's not their fight, but haven't got any of that here, they all fight for Wycombe Wanderers.
“Jamal looks at League Two results to check where Wycombe are before he looks at Chelsea's results, that's the stature of the man, and when he goes onto bigger and better things he will be one we can look back on and say we're really proud he learnt a little bit at Wycombe.
“To be honest, I hadn't seen loads of Jamal before we signed him apart from a few clips, but Barry Richardson (Wycombe's goalkeeping coach) vouched for him. We've added stuff to his game and he's added stuff to our team.”
Blackman's initial loan spell is up on January 3, but Ainsworth is keen to keep him for the season if all parties are happy with the arrangement.
Let's have a look at some of those saves
He added: “We'll be looking to keep the best players at this club, and Jamal falls into that category, although Scott Brown is also a good keeper to have at this level if Jamal does go.
“We've got some good contacts at Chelsea, and it's a fantastic relationship to have. To be able to bring a player from Chelsea into League Two is something special in itself.”
Wycombe skipper Paul Hayes, who once scored against Chelsea in the FA Cup for Scunthorpe, added his voice to those praising Blackman.
He said: "All credit to Jamal, he was immense today, and that's why he's on Chelsea's books. With every game he's getting better and more confident. He's a big lad but down to earth and humble, and works hard in training.”