Jimmy still hasn’t got around to emailing me his thoughts on Fulham’s excellent FA Youth Cup win over Bolton (nudge, nudge) but on the train back he was raving about Cristian Marquez-Sanchez. The young right back was a quiet addition to Fulham’s academy in the summer having learned his trade with his home-town club Espanyol.

I’ll readily admit that I’ve not seen enough of Marquez-Sanchez to know just how good he is/good be, but he’s obviously got great potential. I’m always a bit suspicious of the puff pieces on the offal, especially since the one lauding Chris Smalling was swiftly followed by news of his transfer to Manchester United. Setting down my cynical side, the Spaniard was tracked by Aston Villa but chose Fulham after impressing on trial.

To be honest it wasn’t a difficult decision to leave home because I love English football. It had been my dream for a while to play for a Premier League club and I’m lucky enough to have been given that opportunity. Of course, it was hard leaving my family behind, but it is a sacrifice young players sometimes have to make in football in the hope of furthering their career.

There have been quite a few young Spanish players making the move to England and I have friends at Arsenal (Ignasi Miquel), Manchester City (Joan Angel Roman) and Wigan (Roman Golobart). We text each other and send messages on Facebook, and they all seem to be enjoying the experience too. Hopefully we can all go on and play each other in the first teams.

It’s been a big adjustment so I’ve just got my head down, worked hard and listened to my coaches. I want to improve as much as I can and work my way up through the ranks. To sign my first professional contract [Marquez-Sanchez was on the pitch at half time on Wednesday night] was an incredible moment for me and when I look back to the young kid that started out at Espanyol not too long ago I thought that day was a long way into the future.
He’s not lacking in confidence either.
Five years from now I’ll be established in Roy Hodgson’s First Team and representing my country at senior level