City youngster Jeremy Helan is determined to soak up as much experience as he can as he settles into life in the Blues’ first team squad.
The 18-year-old French winger is one of six City Academy graduates who were given the nod by Roberto Mancini and flown out to Portland for the pre-season tour along with the rest of the senior players.
Helan and his Platt Lane cohorts have looked right at home in the training sessions at Nike’s headquarters this week, and he will be vying for a place in Saturday night’s friendly against the Portland Timbers.
Highly rated since his early teens, Jeremy has already represented France in several age groups and is delighted to now be training alongside a French legend in the shape of Patrick Vieira.
He says, “I’m watching Craig Bellamy and Adam Johnson a lot, they do what they do so well that I must learn from them so I can keep improving. But I also look at players in other areas, and I’m trying to learn from Patrick Vieira too.
“Being from France I’ve looked up to him all my life, I was very small when he won the World Cup but I’ve watched him a lot down the years, so to play alongside him is very special for me. He’s still an awesome player and there is so much I can learn from him.
It’s great for me in my first time with the squad, and I’m really happy. When I wake up every day I think about where I am and I tell myself that I am very lucky to be here with such great players.
"To be around big players like Vieira and Adebayor is amazing, they’re my idols. For young players like Dedryck, John Guidetti and myself to be around these guys is something that we must take experience from, but I am enjoying it as well.
“I learn from everyone, you have to take bits from all different kinds of players. Everyone has their own qualities and for a young player like me, you have to notice as much as you can. Taking the best from them will help get the best out of me as well.
“I’m not setting myself targets just yet, each day is a new day for me and I just want to give my best every time we go out to train or play.”