Unlike many of his peers, he chose not to join the Academy's full-time school on site at the training ground but his potential was never in doubt by the coaching staff he worked with, even if he did take a little longer than others to sign professional terms.
"I remember there were a lot of discussions about signing a professional contract because at that time I was still at school," he recalled to chelseafc.com. "A lot of the boys were full-time so they were at Chelsea the whole time but I was still at school and travelling in by train two days a week.
"All the boys were offered their pro contract and I was like 'I haven't been offered mine yet!' My parents told me to be patient and I was one of the last people to get it but I was honoured. I had to finish school first but from there I just moved up."