Mauricio Pochettino admits Levi Colwill will have to fight for his place at Chelsea — despite his abundance of talent.
The England youth centre-back has started just one of the four games the Blues have played so far during their pre-season tour of the United States.
And Pochettino is keen to see the European Under-21 Championship winner continue to work hard and learn as he battles for a regular spot in 2023-24.
The Blues boss said: "At the moment I need to see him and get to know him better. He is a fantastic talent, of course.
"He is so relaxed, calm and I enjoy talking to him. He has great character and personality.
"I am so happy to have him in the squad and to have this opportunity to work together.
"We assume he is going to play. But I was clear with him when talking, we were talking about him having the possibility to compete with different team-mates."
With fellow left-footed centre-back Benoit Badiashile battling back to fitness after seeing his first season at Chelsea curtailed by injury, Colwill appears a shoo-in to start the season alongside Thiago Silva.
But Pochettino insists he will not let the 20-year-old ace take anything for granted.
Speaking ahead of tonight's friendly with Borussia Dortmund in Chicago, he added: "For sure, he is going to play.
"The possibility to play because Benoit is injured and higher because he is left-footed and will compete with him.
"But he needs to deserve it. It's not because of one player's injury — different types of combinations can happen.
"He needs to show he is ready to play."