Adam Johnson admits he never imagined he would be pushing for a UEFA Champions League place so early in his career.
The 22-year-old was plying his trade in the second tier of English football with Middlesbrough two months ago, before ambitious top-flight outfit Manchester City came calling during the winter transfer window.
Johnson is now part of a side striving to break into the Premier League's top four and take their seat at European football's top table.
His rapid progress has come as something of a surprise even to him, with the talented midfielder caught up in a whirlwind which has taken him from Championship potential to England hopeful.
"It's been a quick turnaround for me and everything has happened so quickly," Johnson told skysports.com at an event to promote Fifa 10 Ultimate Team, a new strategic online game mode available on Xbox Live and PSN.
"Hopefully England will add something else, but everything has happened so quickly - I never thought it would all happen a few months ago.
"There is obviously a long way to go before I establish myself in the England squad, but that's I want to do. I just have to keep playing well and hopefully (Fabio) Capello will see that I'm playing well and pick me."
On City's hopes of achieving their target of a top four finish, Johnson admits everyone at Eastlands is doing their utmost to ensure they do not end the season with any regrets.
"That's our main aim, to finish in the top four. If we don't I think everyone at the club will be disappointed," he said.
"I think we have good form at the minute. I think with the quality we have got we should be in the top four.
"It would be unbelievable to achieve that, to play with the cream of the crop in the Champions League. It would be a dream come true for me and everything I have ever wanted to do."
Johnson's bright start to life at City suggests he would not look out of place among Europe's elite, but he accepts that he needs to raise the bar even further with Roberto Mancini's squad brimming with international talent.
He said: "There are two players for every position and everyone is fighting for a place. I needed to show early doors what I could do.
"That was another main factor behind me moving, to come and train and play with world class players every week."
Adam Johnson was speaking at the launch of FIFA 10 Ultimate Team - a new strategic online game mode available on Xbox Live and PSN. For more info go to http://www.easports.co.uk/fifa