Johnnie Jackson admitted he has been pretty shocked by the rapid rise of Chelsea new boy Mason Burstow.
As quoted by the South London Press, the Charlton Athletic boss explained how Burstow’s transition over the past year-and-a-half had certainly taken him aback.
A bolt from the blue
Life really has moved quickly for the teenager since 2020.
Before he joined Charlton’s youth academy, the youthful forward was playing for non-league side’s Welling United and Maidstone United.
He only made his senior professional debut for the Latics last August, but introduced himself in some style.
Burstow scored with his very first touch against Crawley Town in the FA Cup.
A further two more goals would follow in the competition, with another couple also arriving in League 1.
Burstow becomes a Blue
Understandably, a player at such a young age making an impact in first-team football is always going to attract attention.
Rather unexpectedly, this interest arrived from the Champions League holders.
Chelsea signed Burstow on deadline day for an undisclosed fee, then loaned him straight back to Charlton for the rest of the season.
Like most of the sporting community, Jackson certainly could never have foreseen this move a few months ago.
“Yeah, it’s definitely a surprise how quickly he has gone from not even being with the club, then signing professional less than 18 months ago and now he is the books of one of the biggest clubs in the world,” said the third tie manager.
“When you look at it like that it is unbelievable how quickly it has all happened.
“To be fair to the lad, when he has been given opportunities he has grabbed it. And then someone that young, with the profile he has got and scope to improve – along with scoring goals – are going to attract attention, aren’t they?
“Things can escalate so quickly.
“If he hadn’t done so well in the Papa John’s and FA Cup games then I’d have been reluctant to use him in the league. So that is credit to him as well – because he did seize those opportunities.”
After such a rollercoaster ride this campaign, what’s next for Burstow?
Due to Chelsea’s unpredictable model in terms of using their academy stars, it is difficult to answer this question.
However, Charlton report Henry Tomlinson gave a pretty positive preview of the 18-year-old to at least get fans of the European holders excited about their latest recruit.