He may be only 18 and yet to make his debut in senior football, but Tino Livramento is a player who has already caught the eye of Frank Lampard, Thomas Tuchel and now, most significantly, Ralph Hasenhüttl.
A boyhood Chelsea fan who hails from Croydon, south London, Livramento headed west to join the Blues’ Academy at the age of seven.
He spent the next 11 years blossoming into a highly-talented modern-day right-back, whose athleticism and distribution have seen him form a glowing reputation as one of the brightest talents in his age group.
Having captained England Under-17s, Livramento became a regular in the Chelsea youth team in the 2019/20 season, which was interrupted by Covid-19.
Faced with many months away from the game, the teenager credits the national lockdown with helping him develop his strength and fitness, but also his mind, allowing him to reflect on his progress and set new targets.
One of those was to devise a route to play top-flight football as soon as possible. Whilst many Chelsea Academy graduates have embarked on a series of loan spells and had to wait well into their 20s to get a chance, Livramento was not prepared to play the long game.
“I never wanted to be tied down to a huge deal and then not get a lot of first-team opportunities,” he says. “Obviously if Southampton come in for you at 18, there wouldn’t be a lot of people that would turn that option down.”
It was last season, 2020/21, that really brought Livramento to the attention of other clubs in the Premier League and beyond, as he scooped Chelsea’s Academy Player of the Year accolade.
With eight assists and two goals to his name by January, he was invited to train with the first-team by Lampard for the first time, just two months after turning 18.
Tuchel, appointed just a couple of weeks later, was similarly impressed, and by the end of the season Livramento had featured in the matchday squad for the first time, in high-profile games against Chelsea and Arsenal.
Also capable of playing on the wing, the exciting youngster dubbed “one of the best young players in his position in the country” by Hasenhüttl finished the Academy season with 10 goals and three assists.
Livramento believes his new boss can help improve the defensive side of his game too. As a right-back by trade, he recognises he will be judged, first and foremost, on stopping the opposition.
For all his talent, perhaps what gives the teenager the best chance of succeeding at the highest level is his natural enthusiasm for the game and drive to improve. The better he plays, the more chances he’ll get to impress.
“Being such a young player, I don’t want to set huge targets for myself individually,” he says, modestly. But there’s a glint in his eye at the thought of what’s to come. “I just want to be starting Premier League games, assisting goals and maybe even scoring goals.”
He has a little chuckle to himself, but he means every word. There’s a steady self-assuredness about this young man that could lead to a very bright future.