Eintracht Frankfurt's Jesus Vallejo has a wise head on young shoulders. Much like his side, the 19-year-old Spaniard, on loan from European champions Real Madrid CF, has been one of the revelations of this Bundesliga season, commanding an Eagles' back line that has conceded with a maturity beyond his tender years.
Vallejo has integrated seamlessly into the hustle and bustle of Bundesliga life: the centre-back has not missed a minute of action since replacing Guillermo Varela after seven minutes of a 1-0 defeat to local rivals SV Darmstadt 98 on Matchday 2.
Things have improved since then, with Frankfurt – who only avoided relegation through the play-offs last season – sitting fourth during the winter break.
"You can never plan how a season will go up to the winter break," Vallejo told Spain's leading sport daily Marca recently. "I wanted to give it my all and play as many games as possible. Apart from that, I had no other plans."
"The lad is crazy good. Honestly, I really have to describe him in superlatives. Jesus is so calm. It's the sort of calmness and maturity you usually only have when you're about 30. He can be as good as he wants to be."
Such maturity is evident in Vallejo's training and off-the-field life in Germany (the defender also does not use social media). "I'm approaching things in a very disciplined fashion and am learning a lot every day," he said. "I'm like a football Erasmus student!"
Indeed, much like his contemporaries in Germany to study, Vallejo's language skills have also come on leaps and bounds. "'Raus' means 'out'," he explains. "I always say it to get the team to clear it. I'm lucky enough to play with [David] Abraham, an Argentinian who has been here for far longer than I have. He's the boss! I'm learning from him."