Leicester City midfielder James Maddison is preparing for a potential England debut this week after a fine start to the 2018/19 Premier League season, and the uncapped 21-year-old has revealed just how important a career decision to move to Scotland in 2016 has proven to be.
Maddison had joined Norwich from boyhood club Coventry in January 2016, initially remaining on loan. But game time with the Canaries proved scarce the following season and he ended up joining Aberdeen at the end of August 2016 just to get some minutes.
Perhaps taking some hits up in Scotland was what the young talent needed to mature.
"[Playing in Scotland] toughens you up. I took a lot of kicks, a lot of knocks, had a few little scraps with big Scottish guys on the pitch," Maddison is quoted as saying by the Daily Mail.
"It was tough to go to Norwich and not play after doing well at Coventry. I was not getting a sniff, so I went to see the manager. Aberdeen was the best option at the time.
"I was only in Scotland for four months or something, but I look back at that and it was a big learning curve for me in that short spell. I went there with an open mind to show everyone in Scotland what I was about. Looking back, I am very glad with the decision I made."
Maddison made his Premier League debut at the start of this season, marking it with a goal against Manchester United at Old Trafford. He has since scored twice more, as well as registering two assists, and is proving to be worth the faith shown to him by Leicester.
He will now be hoping to take the next step and get on the pitch for the Three Lions in either or both of the upcoming UEFA Nations League clashes with Croatia and Spain.
Maddison is one of seven uncapped players in the England squad alongside Borussia Dortmund forward Jadon Sancho, on-loan Derby star Mason Mount, Watford midfielder Nathaniel Chalobah, Brighton's Lewis Dunk and goalkeepers Alex McCarthy and Marcus Bettinelli.