CHELSEA COUNTDOWN: Blues fan Leo is out to make his heroes suffer
Chelsea fan Leo Da Silva Lopes will be privileged and proud when he walks onto the Stamford Bridge turf tomorrow (January 8).
But he’d like nothing better than to send the rest of the Londoners’ fanbase home disappointed.
Da Silva Lopes (18) has more to gain than most from a strong performance. The midfielder has already been linked with a January transfer to Premier League clubs - director of football Barry Fry’s sales pitch of ‘the best teenager I’ve seen since George Best’ received a national airing this week - so plenty of eyes will be looking to him.
“Of course I’m excited,” Da Silva Lopes stated. “I don’t get to watch Chelsea much, but they are my team.
“N’Golo Kante is my favourite player and I’ll be after his shirt after the game, but I want to beat Chelsea. Don’t worry if I score a last-minute winner I will be celebrating!
“I feel privileged and proud to be a Posh player and this tie is the stuff of dreams. This is why the FA Cup is such a great competition. I hope I can play games at this level more often in my career.
“It will be a great experience and the squad is buzzing. Chelsea are a great side, but we have quality in our squad also and anything can happen in any game.
“We won’t be going there to defend either. There’s no point in defending for 90 minutes.”
Da Silva Lopes arrived in England at the age of 12, but didn’t start playing football locally for the Powerleague junior teams until he was 14. He was performing in Stanground when Posh first watched him.
The teenager played for current first-team boss Grant McCann in the Posh under 15 side.
Spurs, who picked up star man Dele Alli for £5 million from MK Dons, have been most strongly linked with a move for Da Silva Lopes.
Fry, who was at Manchester United as a youth player with the great Best, told the Daily Mail this week: “I’ve seen this kid since 14 and he’s an unbelievable talent.
“He’s got everything. He can head, he can tackle, the weight of his pass is brilliant, right foot and left foot and he’s played nearly 30 games this season.
“He’s the best player I’ve seen since Bestie came to United. Everybody in the country is after him.”
Da Silva Lopes is also eligible to play for England after securing an English passport when turning 18 last month.