Former Arsenal centre back Martin Keown, who spent 11 years over two spells at Arsenal, has hinted that Chelsea may well have unearthed a top young footballing prospect in Tomas Kalas, a 20-year-old versatile defender who was thrown into a sink-or-swim situation at the weekend as the once-capped Czech Republic international debuted against Liverpool at Anfield on Sunday, April 27.
Accustomed to life as a centre back throughout his education at academy club Sigma Olomouc before his Chelsea transfer in 2011, Kalas spent two years at Dutch club Vitesse Arnham. He has now graduated through the Stamford Bridge ranks and rewarded Jose Mourinho's faith in him with a "superb" performance against the division's most feared attacking side.
"Defending the Kop end at Anfield is one of the hardest jobs in football for an away side," wrote Martin Keown in his Daily Mail column.
"To throw a young defender into that situation was a bold move [by Mourinho] but Tomas Kalas responded with a superb display. He was committed and able to seek out danger quickly. It was a huge risk but Kalas repaid Mourinho’s faith."
Kalas gave an interview to Chelsea TV after the club's 2-0 triumph over Liverpool and will have won himself support with the Blue fans as he said it was always great to win at Anfield.