No doubt they are. But Fulham will be desperate to hold onto their burgeoning central defensive talent. Could this be another protracted Hangeland-type saga or is it all just a bit of paper talk?

The man himself wants to emulate his England under-21 boss Stuart Pearce.

I have loved my time with the under-21s and getting to know some of the young stars in the Premier League has been great. The trips away have been brilliant, but learning off Stuart has been excellent for me. He is someone I really admire and he began his career in non-league like me. I hope I can follow in his footsteps.

He hopes to build on his first Premier League start at Chelsea just after Christmas.

It was great a great opportunity for me and I thought I played well. When the teams were shaking hands and I saw players like Didier Drogba, I had to pinch myself as I shook his hand, but I’m not letting it get to me. I know I’ve still got a lot to learn and I’m not going to get ahead of myself.