Luke Shaw will use Saturday’s game against the Blues as another chance to show them what they missed out on.
As a kid growing up in Moseley near Kingston-Upon-Thames in Surrey, he followed Chelsea and hoped that he would get the opportunity to play for them, but the rejection as a youngster turned out to be Southampton’s gain, something the modest 17 year-old is grateful for.
He tells Saturday’s official matchday programme: “I feel the luckiest young man in the world being able to play Premier League football at just 17 years of age.
“Just a year ago I was playing for the Under-18 side here, and to be honest I only expected to be training with the senior squad this year. To be playing regularly is beyond my wildest dreams.”
His commitment to Southampton, the club who did believe in him enough to offer him a place in their academy when he was an eight year-old stand out midfield player in the Moseley under eight’s side, is being rewarded with regular football and a meeting with the team he used to follow serves as a timely reminder of how things could have been.
The chance to outshine his role model Ashley Cole is reason alone to leave Luke desperate to play against the Blues once again.
“Between the ages of ten and 14 I went along to Stamford Bridge quite a lot either with my dad or a mate,” says Luke.
“My hero was Didier Drogba but Cole was the kind of player I aspired to be. I rated him the best left back in the world and if I had gone to Chelsea all those years ago, I still would have been kicking me heels waiting for a chance to play.
“There’s no doubt in my mind where I want to be right now, where I will get my best chance to blossom as a player, and that is here at Southampton."
Read the full interview with Luke inside Saturday's official matchday programme priced at £3 in and around St Mary's Stadium