Aberdeen loanee Chidiebere Nwakali believes performing well in the North-east can help him move closer to becoming a first-team player at Manchester City in the years ahead.
The 21-year-old joined the Dons on loan from the English Premier League’s runaway leaders City in the January transfer window.
So far he has made three appearances for the Reds and had his first start in last Saturday’s 2-0 defeat to Hibs at Easter Road.
The Nigerian is in contention to start against Premiership leaders Celtic on Sunday.
Nwakali is determined to impress in his time at Pittodrie because he believes strong showings while on loan may help him force his way into Pep Guardiola’s team in the future.
He said: “I think this (the loan) can help me sure (when it comes to Man City), it’s just all about opportunities and game time. “Playing in this level is really good for helping you play in England.
“It is a very good opportunity and playing in Scottish football is one of the best places (from which) to get to England and then play football in England.”
First of all, Nwakali is embracing the challenge of becoming a regular in Derek McInnes’ team between now and the end of the season.
As a young player he knows the importance of playing as many games as possible to help him develop.
Nwakali added: “You need to work hard and then keep working hard to stay in the team.
“It’s all about constant football and it’s all about playing and for me that is just what I’m here to do.
“As a young player I want to get as many games as I can.”
Since arriving in the Granite City Nwakali has been impressed with the standard of the Dons squad.
He believes playing alongside quality talents at Pittodrie will help him develop and improve him as a player.
The midfielder said: “The quality is good among the players, the coaches are good and the manager is good and I think this is a great club.
“When you are playing with good quality players it helps you develop more. “We’ve got that here in Aberdeen with good players here.
“So the development is going to be good and quick here.
“It’s good being here, the expectations are huge and you need to give your 100% every time.
“You need to be professional about everything.”
Nwakali is also keen to perform well for the Dons because he has his sights set on being selected for Nigeria’s World Cup squad.
He is keen to play a part with the senior squad in Russia having captained Nigeria’s Under-17 side to victory at the 2013 U17 World Cup.
And it was his displays in that competition that convinced Manchester City to sign him.
Nwakali said: “I was 16 when I joined them (City) after the U17s World Cup.
“I was playing for a youth team in Africa. It wasn’t professional or anything but I got noticed and you get lucky.
“I’ve played in the 17s and I won the 17s, I was in the 20s.
“Now I’m looking forward to playing for the Super Eagles.”