Mario Pasalic has revealed Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho advised him to move on loan to La Liga to continue his development - during his unveiling as a new Elche player.
Chelsea only completed the signing of the 19-year old midfielder recently from Croatian club Hajduk Split.
However, the Portuguese boss believes the younsgter still needs to gain more playing time abroad before starting a career at Stamford Bridge and has decided to send him on loan to Elche.
Pasalic spoke about Mourinho's influence on his decision. "I always wanted to play in La Liga and when I trained in London with Chelsea and Jose Mourinho, he told me it would be better for me to go to Spain, because I'll play in many big games against teams like Real Madrid, Barcelona, Atlético Madrid. So, I wanted that experience and I'm happy that I'm here," Pasalic was quoted by AS.
"Before I came here to Elche, I saw some really nice things on the internet. I saw the stadium, I saw that there's 20,000 or 25,000 fans and when there are big games, the stadium is full. I like that, the idea of playing at a full stadium. I hope it will be a good season for me and for Elche."
Pasalic has represented Croatia at Under-21 level and was even named in his country's 30-man provisional World Cup squad for Brazil.
However, he believes his spell in La Liga will help him garner more experience in the top flight.
He reveals Elche manager Fran Escriba has assured him of a starring role in his squad ahead of his anticipated summer return to west London.
"That's why I'm here and I hope that in pre-season, I can earn my place, be very important for this team and play a good season. I spoke with the manager, Fran, he asked me what was my favourite position in different formations. He told me I'll be a very important player for this team, so I hope I can prepare well now for the season and the matches to come."