Having broken on to the scene over the last two seasons, debuting in the EFL, FA Cup, Premier League and Champions League for Chelsea – the side he joined at under seven level – big things are ahead for 19-year-old Tino Anjorin.

Pulling out the special treatment for one of their rising stars, adidas invited Anjorin to its London flagship store recently, opening the doors for a special spree that’s reserved for Three Stripes VIPs only. After being shown around the store during which time the midfielder added sufficiently to his wardrobe, we took time to speak with Anjorin on his thirst for individual style, the influences on his journey to date, and his desire to push on in the coming season.

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How would you describe yourself to someone who has never met you before?

As a person, I’d say fun. I’m focused...and spontaneous. I’d say spontaneous, other people might say crazy or a bit weird [laughs]. You can be the judge...I like to do spontaneous things and keep people on their toes. I’m an energetic person with a good imagination – I like to embrace that side of my personality. Pairing that with a focused mind makes me different I think.

What about those who have never seen you play, how would you describe your style? Does that spontaneous nature transfer onto the pitch?

Yeah I think so. I try to be skillful on the pitch. When I first start training, I like to have a bit of fun and do a few tricks and skills to ease myself into it but while I like to be fun, I’m very focused too. When I get onto the pitch I’d describe myself as powerful, skillful and I’ve got a bit of finishing about me to.

You’re confident too…

[Laughs] Yeah that too, for sure.

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You’re someone with a strong look, an appetite for fashion – where did that come from?

That came in I’d say when I was about 14. I grew up in Bournemouth and I wasn’t too into that stuff when I was younger. I then came up to London and it opened my eyes. Everything and everyone was so different. So many people were into their fashion and into their looks. I became part of that and started to like thinking about what I was wearing more and more. It’s become so much bigger in the changing room too. Everyone is into their trainers and that’s the same for me. It’s something I’m very passionate about. Moving to London really opened my mind to it all. I get inspired from seeing all these different types of people.

They say trends in the dressing room spread through football. I get the feeling you like to make sure you’re not following the crowd… is that fair?

Yeah for sure, I like to be different. I’m a little picky like that as well. If I’m wearing a jacket and then I see someone else wearing the same one, I’m like, “oh, I need to change”. It sounds crazy but I like to show that I’m an individual. For me, what I wear is so much about expressing myself.

Who else in the game do you think has paved the way for others to express themselves?

I have a lot of respect for everyone at Chelsea of this generation who has broken through. I know just how hard it is to get into  that position and to break through and achieve what they have really is incredible. I take a lot of inspiration from those around me. Reece James, Mason Mount, Reuben Loftus Cheek, Callum Hudson-Odoi, Tammy Abraham – I have huge respect for them. I look up to them a lot and I want to follow the path that they have set out. If it wasn’t for them, I might not feel like that journey and dream can become a reality.

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Have any of them taken you under their wings and helped keep you grounded and keep your mind in the right place?

I played with Callum and Reece before – I came through and grew up with them. Billy Gilmour too, I have played with him a lot and come through with him. Mason and Tammy – they’ve really welcomed me in and made me feel like one of them. I had never played with them at a younger age. I don’t think they knew about me when I first started training with the first team but they both came straight up to me and welcomed me in. It was such a nice thing to do.

As part of a generation that’s breaking through, who are your role models above this current age group? What was it about them?

Everyone. When I was younger, I would look all over at people doing great things. I would see the youth team winning the Youth Cup and think, “I want to win that”. I would look at them knowing that’s what I want to do. I wanted to be the Jay Dasilva’s and the Charlie Colkett’s – all who were working hard to get to where they wanted to. I would look at everyone and use that as motivation.

To go from 14 years old, younger than that even, to get where you are now, not just on the cusp but in and around, how much graft actually goes into get to that level?

For me, when it really kicked in and I realised how hard the graft is, was when I was 16. I think I was always working as hard as I could from the age of 12 but at 16, after training finished and we didn’t have any more school, I would stay out training from say 3pm until 6pm just continuing to play football.

For me, it’s always been fun so it’s been a joy to be able to work hard in perfecting my game. I’ve enjoyed the graft. When I got to 16 it was a different kind of focus and I realised then that I have to try to perfect all those things I need to improve on. So whether that’s extra gym work, extra running or positional play or even improving my left foot – it’s all about looking at the details now.

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Being involved in all that you have so far – touching that Champions League trophy, what have been the highs like?

Well, making my debut for starters – that was incredible. The Champions League is something I can’t put into words. I definitely can’t describe how I felt at the time because it makes you speechless. As a kid, you dream of holding the Champions League. So for me, I was there, holding the thing I had been dreaming about since I was three years old. Every single day I’ve dreamt about having that in my hands and then one day, it’s there, in my hands. I couldn’t stop smiling. I still can’t.

What is that debut like? It must be such a rush of energy?

Scary stuff to be honest. I made my Premier League debut against Everton. When I played against them in the under-23s, there was barely a crowd. Some family and friends, maybe a couple of hundred people. When I went to warm up, I looked up at the whole stadium and it was packed. I ran down the line and heard the Chelsea fans shouting “academy”, all so happy, cheering for me. I was just like, “wow”.  I stepped on the pitch and heard this roar. I could hear fans saying “Tino, Tino, Tino”. It was incredible.

How much do those experiences give you the taste for more?

I want it so much, more and more. It just makes you more hungry and more determined. Even when holding the Champions League – you win it once and it makes you want to win it all over again. I want to keep going again and again, every single season.

Does it also reset your levels? You know what can be achieved and the level you’re at?

It makes it more real. I’ve touched that trophy now. It’s still a dream, of course but it’s a very real accomplishment that I know I can aim for again. I know it’s there and it can be won. Knowing that, it makes your mindset so focused on such goals. Chelsea, the whole club is based on a winning mentality, a relentless aim of winning. We love just winning - that’s what it’s about for me.

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