Watford boss Gianfranco Zola says Nathaniel Chalobah's future at Vicarage Road will be decided by whoever takes over as manager of parent club Chelsea this summer.
Chalobah guided Watford to the precipice of promotion to the Premier League but defeat to Leeds United allowed Hull City to finish second to Cardiff City on the final day of the Championship season.
The England Under-21 midfielder is eligible to play for The Hornets during in the play-off semi-final against Leicester City but will return to Chelsea in the summer upon the expiry of his loan deal.
And any return to Watford for Chalobah will be decided by Chelsea's new manager, but Zola believes promotion to the top flight via the play-offs will increase his chances to staying for a second term.
"If we go up to the Premier League we stand more chance of having him here for a longer period but right now it is impossible to say," said Zola.
"It is difficult to know because it depends on the manager who goes to Chelsea and many other things."
The 18 year old has been compared to Chelsea midfielder Frank Lampard on occasion for his lung-busting performances from midfield, and many are predicting a prosperous future ahead for Chalobah.
Lampard's own future is still to be resolved, with his contract due to expire at the end of the season while the fitness of Oriol Romeu, who has missed much of the campaign, has raised questions over his long-term future in west London.
Therefore, Chelsea's midfield could require some much needed surgery this summer and with Josh McEachran also returning from a loan spell at Middlesbrough, the club's first team could be dominated by some of the academy's finest graduates next season.
Interim first-team coach Rafa Benitez is expected to be replaced by Jose Mourinho at the end of the season, with the Portuguese boss returning six years after he departed the Blues in 2007.