As he prepares for his latest spell of international duty with England Under-19s, Brendan Galloway feels fortunate his pathway into the first team for both club and country are mirrored.
Galloway is in France to help the Young Lions compete in a UEFA Elite Phase qualification tournament for this summer's European Under-19 Championship finals and will be facing Denmark, Azerbaijan and the hosts over the coming days.
It is another chapter in the young defender’s development towards playing for both Everton and England – and thankfully his role models can be found close to home.
Both Phil Jagielka and John Stones have trodden the path that Galloway has only just begun to take and the Blues’ defensive pair have been a source of inspiration for the Under-21s regular.
“I’m really enjoying myself at Everton,” said the former MK Dons trainee. “I am working hard to try to get into the first team but I am enjoying being involved with the Under-21s.
“I look up to the players in the first team. Both Jags and John are England internationals who have been there and done it. They are both inspirational to me. You can learn a lot from them, even by just watching them. It’s important for me to have them at Everton.”
And knowing they have the experience of rising through the ranks has been of great help to Galloway.
The youngster admits he has been a willing student on both the domestic and international fronts and hopes to continue his development with both.
“It is easy to relate to them,” he added. “I’m taking the same path that they have taken already. I can see them every day in training and talk to them.
“I watch every Everton game and focus on the defensive side of things and keep an eye on the players back there.
“They are playing at the top level, which is where I want to play.”