Jack Collison has credited Gianfranco Zola with turning him into a promising Premier League performer.
The West Ham starlet found himself on the fringes of the first-team fold at the start of the 2008/09 campaign, but has enjoyed a new lease of life since Zola took the Upton Park reins back in September.
The 20-year-old has become a regular in the heart of the Hammers midfield, often turning in performances which belie his years.
Collison believes his meteoric rise to prominence would not have been possible were it not for Zola's influence and hopes the Italian, who has been linked with the vacant managerial post at Chelsea, will stick around and continue to shape his progress for the foreseeable future.
"The boss has been doing one-on-one tuition with me and I am learning from him all of the time," he said.
"There's no better player for me to learn from, he was one of the best."
Collison added: "Gianfranco going is the last thing anyone at West Ham wants.
"He has given us a confidence, he comes into training with a smile on his face and he wants us to enjoy playing football.
"Gianfranco has come in and put a real buzz into the place and no-one wants him to go, he is a really good young manager and things are going really well at West Ham at the moment.
"People may be a little surprised by his impact at West Ham but he played at the very highest level and played under some top managers."