After being handed a spot at Euro 2012 on Wednesday, England's youngest squad member Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain's next task is to tunnel his way into manager Roy Hodgson's first-team plans.
Parallels will be drawn between the 18-year-old and fellow Arsenal team-mate Theo Walcott, who fell by the wayside after being a shock inclusion as a 17-year-old in Sven-Goran Eriksson's 2006 World Cup squad.
Walcott, who was also named by Hodgson, did not feature at the tournament in Germany six years ago and was then forced to wait another two years to earn his first senior cap.
On Wednesday, Hodgson phoned Oxlade-Chamberlain two hours before the squad was announced to inform the teenager about his call-up before adding that it was now up to the former Southampton product to prove himself in front of his more experienced peers.
Oxlade-Chamberlian could get his chance in the two friendlies against Norway and Belgium on May 26 and June 2 respectively.
"For everything to happen as quickly as it has, it has been surreal and I don't think it has really sunk in properly yet," Oxlade-Chamberlain told Arsenal's official website.
"I know I haven't made it and I have a long way to go but this is the first step in what I hope to be a long and successful international career.
"I am just looking forward to going there, learning from all the experienced players, training with them and trying my hand at everything. I am absolutely buzzing.
"I would have probably laughed if someone had told me I would be in the Euro 2012 a year ago."
Technically gifted and blessed with pace, Oxlade-Chamberlain represents the future of England and his attacking flair could well be called upon by Hodgson who lacks complete fluidity on the flanks.
"I think I play with no fear, I run at players regardless of who they are and try to make a difference," continued Oxlade-Chamberlain.
"I have a youthful enthusiasm and I am so excited about this that I will try and take any opportunity with both hands.
"I will just try and make things happen, although I know there are other players who can do that. It will just be nice to get the opportunity and I will see what I can do."comments