Though he had previously starred for Chelsea in the League Cup and Premier League, his debut in the UEFA Champions League on Tuesday night will remain indelible in his memory. Little wonder he took to the social media to express his joy after the game
Faustino Anjorin made his European debut in the Champions League against Krasnodar on Tuesday night and he quickly took to social media to express his happiness at making his full debut for Chelsea in the Champions League.
The England youth international impressed during the 80 minutes he was on the Stamford Bridge turf and earned praise from manager Frank Lampard after the game.
It was his third appearance for Chelsea’s first team, having made substitute appearances against Grimsby Town and Everton in the League Cup and Premier League respectively.
Anjorin posted on Instagram: “What a special night for me and my family to make my champions league debut! Thanks to the fans for all the support.”
A midfield powerhouse – the 19-year-old box-to-box player grew up idolising current Blues manager, Frank Lampard.
The attacking midfielder is so highly-rated in West London.
Lampard, who has made it his mission to promote the youngsters from the academy, has faith in the raw talent, as does his assistant, Jody Morris – and the pair have been impressed by Anjorin’s rapid rise since they arrived at the club.
The youngster also has a knack for finding the back of the net, scoring crucial goals last season in the UEFA Youth League, Premier League 2 and in the EFL Trophy.
He managed 11 goals in 27 games last season, before the Coronavirus halted youth football.
And his progress within the Blues academy has seen him compared to fellow graduate Ruben Loftus-Cheek.
Anjorin was born in Poole to a Nigerian father and a English mum.
Amazingly, he was named after the Colombian legend Faustino Asprilla who famously became the first player to score a hat-trick against Barcelona in the Champions League when he was playing up front for Newcastle.
By the age of seven Anjorin was scouted by Chelsea and invited to train in their youth set-up before officially joining at the age of nine.
It was a dream come true for the boy, who idolised John Obi Mikel and Frank Lampard and wanted to play for the same club.
By the age of 16, Anjorin, who stands at an impressive 6ft 1 in, lifted the FA Youth Cup in 2018.
Not only was he the youngest player in the Chelsea side that beat Arsenal 7-1 over two legs, his goal to end the rout was the icing on the cake.
Internationally, Anjorin’s form has been equally as impressive as it has for his club, and the FA have high hopes for him.
He has played for England at every junior level up to the U-19’s, but without a full cap to his name there could be a tussle with Nigeria for his services in the future.
Both-footed, Anjorin signed a five-year contract with the Blues in the summer – reportedly turning down interest from other Premier League clubs.
Technically sound, despite his lanky frame, he is adept at running with the ball at pace and is strong in possession.
And he’s got decent vision, often able to pick out the perfect pass for a forward to run on to.
But it is his finishing that helps him stand out from the crowd.
In fact, Jody Morris once revealed he was the “best finisher at the club”.
His father, Sheriff told Goal.com his son stood out from an early age – playing against boys aged six when he was just three.
Sheriff said: “He was always the standout player, people knew him before he even knew how to spell his name.
“He is a goalscoring midfielder in the Frank Lampard mould. Lampard was one of his idols, but so were Lionel Messi and Zinedine Zidane.
“He has a high level of technical ability, great finishing quality and a great passing range.
“We felt that the Chelsea environment was perfect for Tino. It has really stretched him.
“The training has always been harder than the matches, he’s highly competitive and he just wants to get on the pitch and beat his opponent.”
And he has his chance to impress, this time at the highest level of club football.
Lampard praised Anjorin’s performance against FC Krasnodar and said he is a ‘work in progress’.
Anjorin came into the side due to Callum Hudson-Odoi picking up a hamstring injury.
But he showed his qualities on an evening where he took his opportunity.
And Chelsea boss recognised that and despite fitness issues, Anjorin will stay with the first-team due to the injuries in the squad.
“In training he had shown us last season a real ability to step straight into the level in terms of his ability on the ball. He showed on Tuesday in the way he receives the ball and how he moves with it very quickly, his physical attributes to protect the ball. He’s had some fitness issues in terms of completing games at U-23 and youth team levels.
“That’s a work in progress with him but the more he trains with us the better he is. It’s a real good environment for him. With the injuries we have in the short term he will spend more time with us. He did very well tonight. It was a good debut and he grew into the game as it went along.”