Manchester United winger Amad Diallo got his first international call-up this month.
He may not have featured for the Ivory Coast, but just travelling will have given him a huge boost. And he will have even more reason to excel when he next steps onto the field for the Red Devils.
Diallo has now featured four times for United. While his goal against AC Milan proved both vital in the tie and wonderful in its execution.
But he will know that he needs to get more minutes at Old Trafford – and shine when he does so – to earn his first cap for his country.
Anyone who has seen Diallo play will know that is only a matter of time. The £37.2million signing (BBC) is a superstar in the making. Yet even the best need motivation to get better – and watching his Ivorian teammates run out twice last week while he sat unused could be just that.
Diallo trains with top players for club and country. The next time the latter kick off, the winger will be hoping he has done enough for United to earn his chance.
Time to step up
Next up for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men is a clash with Brighton, with United hoping to make a fist of the title race despite the sizable gap between first and second.
Then there is the Europa League, where Diallo has already shone and could well do again.
If he performs well in the quarter-final and (hopefully) beyond, the 18-year-old could soon play for his country, too.
That tournament is United’s only realistic chance of silverware now. It is also the ideal stage for Diallo to blossom into a must-pick for Solskjaer.
With the World Cup just over a year away, United’s teen sensation has plenty to focus the mind.