Graham Potter says he is looking forward to welcoming back N’Golo Kante from a long spell out with injury, and believes he has been a big miss for Chelsea.
Kante has played just two Premier League games this season because of a hamstring injury.
But the midfielder is in contention to return to the squad on Saturday when the Blues face Everton.
And Potter is hopeful that he can contribute to a strong end to the season for his side.
“Managers before me have spoken very highly about N’Golo because he is a top, top player,” he said.
“He has been a huge miss to us, that’s not to say other players haven’t given absolutely everything, they have. But N’Golo Kante is a top player.
“It’s great for us that he’s back, we need to be mindful of the fact that he’s had a long injury, we need to make the next steps to get him up to speed in the Premier League, which is what we will do.
“But it’s great to have him with us.”
Potter, however, insists he will be as patient as is required with Kante so as not to rush him back and cause another injury.
“When you have a player injured for that length of time, you have to take those steps regardless of what our situation is, to take the steps to get him up to speed, get him back to the player he is in a responsible way, doing it as safely as we can which enables him to take the right steps to go forward.
“Once he is at his highest level he is a huge player for us.”