Chelsea’s back four will be of real interest next season, with long-term campaigners John Terry and Ashley Cole out of contract and Kurt Zouma joining the club.
Tomas Kalas held his hand up for more regular time on the pitch with an assured performance against Liverpool at Anfield recently.
The young Czech centre-half has admitted that it was an eye-opening experience and stated he was glad to have Branislav Ivanovic alongside him.
"When the boss said I was playing there was no time for nerves, even if it was a big game, a difficult game, up against Luis Suarez, Daniel Sturridge, Coutinho, Raheem Sterling,” he told The Guardian.
“"It helped having Branislav Ivanovic alongside me. I'd played with him in my first game for Chelsea, in pre-season at Portsmouth under Andre Villas-Boas, so it was like a reunion.”
Kalas went on to say that he was confident against quick players like Suarez and Sterling but must learn to mark strong targetmen to progress.
“I'd rather play against attackers who are quicker with more mobility, than against players like a Demba Ba or a Didier Drogba,” he continued.
“I'm still learning how to defend against players like that. Learning in the gym. I played with Wilfried Bony at Vitesse but in training I'd stay well away from him.
“If you went against Wilfried you might hurt yourself. But against Suarez and Sterling I know one of my strengths is speed.
"We did it, though. Not just me. If you are open and play 'football' against a team like them it might have ended 3-3, and the debut wouldn't have been considered a success. But we played strong defence."
Kalas went on to state that he hopes to get more first-team opportunities next season although there is extreme competition for places at Stamford Bridge.
"We have to discuss what will be best: if I stay, or should I go and play somewhere and come back even more experienced,” he said.
“Am I ready to step up? If I say 'yes' I show myself to have a big head. If I say 'no', it's like I don't have confidence. So somewhere in between.
“It's up to me, but if I wasn't confident enough to play the games I'd tell the manager: 'Sell me or loan me somewhere else now.' I have to be confident to play."
Terry seems likely to sign a new contract, while Zouma’s arrival will give Jose Mourinho another option in the heart of his back four.
However, Kalas’ assured performance at Liverpool should mean more opportunities to play as he has shown he can be trusted.