Manchester City new-boy Jerome Boateng expects to be playing in the Champions League 12 months from now.
The Germany World Cup star is one of a quartet of new arrivals at Eastlands, a figure that is expected to be swelled to half a dozen by the end of next week as James Milner and Mario Balotelli prepare to join from Aston Villa and Inter Milan respectively. The ambition from the Blues camp is clear for all to see, which is one of the major reasons why Boateng agreed to the summer transfer from Hamburg even though the only European action Roberto Mancini could tempt him with was the Europa League.
But Boateng does not expect that situation to last long. "I always wanted to come to England because I like the league very much," reflected Boateng.
"Of course, I want to play in the Champions League, but I think with this team, we can do that in a year's time.
"We must have a good season to get there but we have a great team."
Some period of adjustment is going to be needed so great have been the changes made by Mancini.
Even during Saturday night's 2-0 win over Valencia there were signs that defensively at least, a few teething troubles need to be sorted out.
The situation is not exactly ideal given international fixtures dominate this week and City begin their domestic campaign with crucial fixtures against Tottenham and Liverpool, split by a lengthy European trip to Timisoara.
But Boateng was always aware the demands placed upon him in England would be quite high, having been given plenty of advice from brother Kevin-Prince, one of the few shining lights in last season's annus horribilis for Portsmouth.
"In the Premier League, the football is quicker and harder - and that is why I am here," he said. "Without doubt it is the best league in the world. There are just so many great teams - Arsenal, Manchester United, Chelsea and Tottenham - and that's why I'm here."
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