Former Chelsea winger Pat Nevin has praised Kurt Zouma for his emergence in the first team this season.
The 20-year-old Frenchman, whose natural position is in defence, earned plenty of plaudits for his midfield performance during Sunday's victory over Tottenham Hotspur in the League Cup final.
With Zouma likely to become an increasingly important player for Chelsea, Nevin believes that his versatility in a number of roles bodes well for the future.
"In the shorter term the emergence of Kurt Zouma maybe the most important thing," he told the club's official website. "Without him I think we looked in some danger at the back if we had more than one injury.
"Suddenly we have an extra centre-back, an extra right-back and an extra sitting midfielder all rolled into one player. These are exciting times because it has now gone beyond transition and I suspect we will only get stronger in the months and years ahead."
Chelsea continue their Premier League campaign on Wednesday night when they make the short trip to London rivals West Ham United.