On-loan Crystal Palace midfielder, Ruben Loftus-Cheek, has shot down any more comparisons to England teammate Dele Alli, stating he wishes to be compared to his midfield idol.
Back in April of 2016, after scoring his first Chelsea league goal, he boldly claimed that he could emulate Dele Alli’s rise himself, under Antonio Conte.
It seems his mind has now changed, however, speaking to the Evening Standard, claiming: "I definitely don't want to be compared with Dele anymore. Everyone's journey is different in football, no-one's the same.”
A lack of game time at Chelsea has meant his loan move to Palace is his real opportunity to show himself off, and it looks like he’s doing just that, having received his first England call-up for the games against Germany and Brazil this weekend.
Whilst his comparisons to Alli have waned, he is eager to be compared to one of his Chelsea idols.
Having joined the Chelsea academy in 2004, he’s been able to closely watch the Blues’ players over the years.
He mentions Frank Lampard and Michael Essien, but cites former Germany captain Michael Ballack as the pick of the bunch.
"I used to watch him playing with the likes of Lampard and Essien in midfield. I was coming through the Academy and my coaches always used to say to me 'watch the games, watch Ballack.'
"He was a guy that would boss the midfield. It is what my dad used to say to me as well, that I need to boss the midfield too. Ballack was a player that ran the game, while Lampard kind of worked off him.”
His studies are obviously paying off, with the midfielder’s style of patrolling the midfield, as well as his towering figure and upper body strength practically taken straight out of the Michael Ballack formula.
"I have had to develop that Ballack frame and power over a period of time. My physicality is a big part of my game. It was a strength that he used and it is something you can compare us with."
With England’s squad having injured players dropping like flies, the likelihood of Loftus-Cheek making his debut in some respect against either Germany or Brazil is ever increasing, and well-deserved too.