Roberto Di Matteo has revealed he wanted to sign Victor Moses "years ago" as the Italian looks set to hand the 21-year-old his full Chelsea debut on Tuesday.
Following his £9million transfer in the summer, Moses has impressed during his brief time at Stamford Bridge with two excellent substitute performances, and he is now expected to go in to the Blues' starting line-up for their Capital One Cup clash against Wolves.
And had Di Matteo had his way, the former Crystal Palace player would have been playing under his command a lot sooner. The Chelsea boss said: "He's young and he'll still improve and develop but he's an exciting player that I tried very hard to sign, not just this year but previously as well, years ago."
Di Matteo added: "He's a player I like very much and he will have a big influence in our season. He's strong at holding the ball, his dribbling ability is very good, he can go past defenders, which not many can, and he's got the pace as well.
"He's very good at making runs in behind, he's a very good player. It's good that nobody else noticed."
Di Matteo is expected to rest a number of the players who helped the Londoners to a 1-0 win over Stoke, especially as Chelsea play Arsenal next weekend. Marko Marin, Lucas Piazon and Cesar Azpilicueta could make their first appearances for the club while Moses may be employed as a lone striker to give Fernando Torres some time off.
"I'm sure there'll be one or two that haven't had much time on the pitch who'll be playing on Tuesday," said Di Matteo, whose team have only dropped two points so far this term.
It is unclear whether John Terry will be involved in the third-round clash at Stamford Bridge. Terry, who started Saturday's game on the bench, retired from international football on the eve of an FA hearing in which he has been charged with using racist language towards Anton Ferdinand.
Should the 31-year-old be rested, Branislav Ivanovic could move to centre-back to give one of either David Luiz or Gary Cahill the night off. That would leave Azpilicueta free to make his debut at right-back. The 23-year-old has had to wait patiently for his debut since completing a £6.5million move from Marseille.
Ivanovic said: "It's great to have competition between the players, it's very positive. Cesar is good, he is working very hard and he is waiting for the chance and he will show his qualities and how good he is. One player cannot play in one position all season long."