Stand-in Chelsea manager Guus Hiddink has warned Baba Rahman to shift his nice guy image if he wants a future at the club under Antonio Conte.
The Ghanaian left-back has struggled to make an impact in his debut season at Stamford Bridge following his summer arrival from Augsburg.
Rahman found it difficult to dislodge the incredibly consistent Cesar Azpilicueta but has started three of the last four league matches after performing well against PSG in the Champions League.
However, Hiddink has advised the defender to toughen up and find a ruthless edge to his game if he is to make the grade under Conte , as the Italian is a feared disciplinarian.
He said: “When I first came here I had the impression he was too quiet.
“He is a good player but to survive in the Premier League he must make it difficult for the manager to take him out of the team.
“He has skill but must also be very dominant defensively, especially in his area.
“He is a very nice person, I said to him you can be nice outside the pitch but be less nice on it.
“He must think, this is my area and whoever is coming in I must kill, within the rules of course.”
Conte’s favoured formation is a 3-5-2 with marauding wing-backs. Kenedy could be drafted in on the left-hand side while Chelsea are set to make some wholesale changes in the transfer market.
Rahman’s future is uncertain with the Blues facing yet another transitional period but Hiddink has been experimenting with him at right-back in training and his versatility could catch Conte’s eye.
He said: “He is very skilful with both legs; you should not underestimate his right foot as well which is unusual for a left-footed player.
“I played him at right full-back this week as I was curious to see how he would get on and he did it without any problem.”