Introduced slowly to the Rennes team at the beginning of the season, James Léa-Siliki, since the end of October, is now one of the first names on the team sheet at Rohazon Park.
The arrival of Sabri Lamouchi, who took over from Christian Gourcuff in early November, hasn’t changed that, and the 21-year-old can continue to work hard to one day achieve his dream: playing at Old Trafford.
Speaking to Ouest France, the central midfielder opened up about his younger years, and what drove him to have this borderline obsession with Manchester United.
He said: “When I was younger, in my room, I dreamt of big games. I’m a professional footballer, it’s an obsession ever since I could understand. I dreamt of Manchester United, of their stadium, of their colours. I grew up with the Ferguson years, the Boxing Day games on Canal+, the 95th minute wins.
“I grew up with the Yorke-Cole partnership, Mikaël Silvestre, Louis Saha, Wayne Rooney, Ronaldo… Ryan Giggs was a monument until the very end.”
Still young, Siliki knows time is very much on his side to reach his goals, especially if he remains ‘clear headed’, as his youth can help him remain in the starting line up, even if he admits he still has some tactical and physical aspects of his game to work on.
With only 15 first-team appearances to his name, he might have to wait a few more years, but if he impresses as he has done since he came into the Rennes team, who knows where he’ll end up?
Perhaps Jose Mourinho, or whoever is Manchester United’s manager at the time, might like what he sees.