Frank Lampard has admitted that he made Callum Hudson-Odoi's future an immediate priority when he took the managerial reins at Stamford Bridge this summer.
The Chelsea legend revealed he contacted the Blues starlet as soon as he was appointed in July, to outline the significance of the 18-year-old's role in his project.
Hudson-Odoi was the subject of a transfer tug of war between the west London club and German giants Bayern Munich at the time, with the Bundesliga side (relatively) long-time admirers of the youngster.
Chelsea were desperate not to lose the academy product having already sanctioned the sale of talismanic attacker Eden Hazard to Real Madrid.
According to reports, Hudson-Odoi was very close to accepting the Bavarians' offer, but it seems Lampard's appointment may have played a part in changing his mind.
Addressing the media ahead of Chelsea's clash with Liverpool on Sunday, Lampard said: "As soon as I got the job I made contact with him to make him aware I want him to be part of the plans. The only conversations I had with him were not persuasion, it was how I see it at the club.
"He’s a young lad who has come through the academy here. The club has worked hard with him. He has worked hard to get one foot in the first team. Then it was away from me slightly in terms of the club dealing with the contract itself, but I wanted to make it clear I wanted him at the club because I believe in his talent."
The new Chelsea boss continued: "Now the five-year contract is signed is when the hard work really starts for him.
"He has got everything in front of him. We know the talent he has, he has shown his talent on occasions when he has had his opportunity, but I think there is a lot more. It’s pure hard work getting there."
Lampard insisted the winger - who has returned to full fitness after an Achilles injury towards the end of last season - has the ability to break into his starting plans alongside fellow academy products Tammy Abraham, Mason Mount and Fikayo Tomori.
He added: "Hopefully Callum can look at the other younger players around him that are getting their opportunities.
"They have deserved them because they worked so hard in pre-season. That is a nice thing for him to see, and hopefully be hungry for, and now it’s signed and sealed we can put that to bed and get to work."