Josh McEachran has revealed how Chelsea team-mate Frank Lampard helped convince him to make his season-long loan move to Premier League rivals Swansea City.
The England Under-21 midfielder is set to make his Swans debut at Sunderland on Saturday as Brendan Rodgers' men aim to extend a five-match unbeaten run.
England star Lampard enjoyed a nine-match loan spell at Swansea in 1995 and 1996 during his time at West Ham.
"I spoke to Frank a few times before I came down here," said McEachran.
"And he told me I would love it. He said it is a really nice place with great fans.
"I watch Frank in training every day, he always talks to me. I aspire to be a player like him.
"I had a few options, but I thought Swansea would be the best club for me with their style of play.
"There were a few other clubs - Aston Villa had a big interest, I think Bolton were there and Wigan."
The 18-year-old joins fellow England Under-21 internationals Steven Caulker and Scott Sinclair at The Liberty Stadium to develop his burgeoning career.
- Born 1 March, 1993 in Oxford, England
- Joined Chelsea at the age of eight and made his first-team debut aged 17
- Signed a new five-year contract in July 2011
- Represented England U17, U19 and U21
Rodgers had long made clear his intent to bring McEachran, who is friends with his son Anton, as the player looks to gain more first team experience having been under-used by Chelsea manager Andre Villas-Boas.
McEachran had also worked previously with Rodgers when the Northern Irishman was involved in the youth set-up at Stamford Bridge under Jose Mourinho.
The Oxford-born player watched Swansea's
stunning 3-2 win
over Premier League top four contenders Arsenal at The Liberty Stadium.
And Swansea's style was also an attraction for McEachran, who compares the Premier League side to European champions Barcelona.
"I knew last week that I was definitely going to come to Swansea," he said.
"I know Brendan and the style of football Swansea play, so I am really excited to be here.
"I watched the Arsenal game, and their passing - the way they play football - it is just like watching Barcelona, really.
"The style of football Swansea play means it could really good or it could go terrible, but Brendan has stuck by it and everything, and they have done really well. I can't wait to play now.
"There is a lot of competition down here, and I just want to be part of that and train well. There are no guarantees, and I just need to work for my place.
"I wasn't getting the game-time at Chelsea, so I thought I needed to get games and try to prove myself to everyone, so this will help me.
"Chelsea are one of the best teams in the world, so it means I need to be patient and wait for my time."