Kurt Zouma believes it is too early to be comparing him to fellow Frenchman Marcel Desailly, despite the obvious similarities between the pair.
Zouma, 20, arrived at Chelsea in the summer after sealing a £12 million move from Saint-Etienne, and has since gone on to make 15 total appearances for the club.
Displacing Gary Cahill in the line-up in recent weeks, his impressive performances have led some to hail him as the second coming of the French World Cup-winner, but the centre-back stresses that he has a lot of work ahead of him in order to match up to such praise.
“I am very proud of the comparisons, I didn't know about them but Desailly was a great player,” he said. “But it is too early to talk about me the same way.
“I have to keep working, showing that I am ready and that I can do it at the highest level. The team is winning and we are winning well.”
Nevertheless, with Jose Mourinho hailing him as one of the best emerging defenders in world football alongside Real Madrid’s Raphael Varane earlier this month, it’s clear that Zouma is set for a bright future in the game.
In line to start Tuesday night’s Champions League last-16 first-leg tie against Paris Saint-Germain, the Under-21 international will face a tough task in attempting to keep Zlatan Ibrahimovic quiet at the Parc des Princes, but adds that his manager has ensured he will be well-prepared.
“He is the best coach in the world, he hates losing and we learn a lot technically and tactically,” he said. “We want to win every game we play. He conveys that and I have learnt so much.”
In addition, Zouma faced Ibrahimovic on several occasion during his last two seasons starting for Les Verts, and believes he has proven that he can hold his own.
“I played against him once when I was at St Etienne and we drew the match,” he added. “He is impressive and intelligent. PSG have great players and we will need to be prepared.”