Manchester City’s teenage sensation Matija Nastasic owes his emphatic start to life in England to the help from compatriot and rival Nemanja Vidic.
The 19-year-old defender joined City from Italian side Fiorentina in June and has become an integral cog in their trophy-hunting machine.
He revealed this week that fellow Serbian centreback Vidic played a large part in his impressive start in Manchester.
“When I arrived I asked him for advice,” said Nastasic. “For me he is a great friend and a great person.
“He gave me advice about lifestyle and adapting to English football, but he never told me I joined the wrong club.
“Mind you, I never looked at the other side of Manchester.”
Nastasic has featured 20 times for City this season, forming a regular partnership at the back with captain Vincent Kompany.
This run in the side has surprised many, including the teenager, after Kompany forged a solid pairing with Joleon Lescott last season.
“I didn’t expect to play straight away,” said Nastasic.
“So far I’ve played 20 games and everything is going well for me at the moment.
“I’m very proud that I have held down a first-team place because Joleon Lescott is a great player and so is Kolo Toure.”
And Lescott is as impressed with Nastasic as anyone, taking to Twitter recently to praise the young defender.
He said: “[He’s] a candidate for player of the season.
“Not enough people talking about him. If he was English people would be raving about him.”