Max Kucheriavyi has become a central figure for St Johnstone.
And the Ukraine under-21 international is loving football life in the middle of the pitch with club and country.
Since Saints manager Steven MacLean altered his formation for the visit of Livingston last month, Kucheriavyi has been given number 10 duties behind a front two.
He also got game-time in the heart of the action with his country in the recent Euro 2025 U21 qualifiers.
Having several strings to his bow will help further the 21-year-old’s career.
But he’s feeling very much at home at present.
“For me it’s a more natural position than playing out wide,” said Kucheriavyi.
“I’ve played centrally for most of my life.
“I feel really comfortable in there.
“Even when I went away with Ukraine I was centre-mid as well.
“It’s good that I can play different positions – it can only help me if my comfort zone on the pitch gets bigger.
“I don’t want my performance to be affected by the role I play. I want to show my quality in any position. Wherever the gaffer puts me doesn’t really matter.”
Kucheriavyi returned to Perth on a high after playing against Luxembourg then watching his Ukraine team-mates earn a dramatic stoppage-time victory over England to maintain their 100% qualification record.
“It was a very enjoyable night for all of us and a big win for the team,” he said.
“The team has changed from the one that participated in the last Euros and I think we’ve got a good squad.
“We still need time to come together as a new team but hopefully we will keep improving.
— Danya Utekhin🇺🇦 (@DUtekhin) October 16, 2023
“There are just two of us who play abroad – me and Yehor Yamoliuk of Brentford. Everyone else plays for Ukrainian clubs.
“Obviously the manager of the national team will want to play differently to all the club managers but for me personally I always think it’s good to learn new things.
“Now that I’m back I’ll try to keep working and improving here.”
Kucheriavyi is Saints’ top scorer for the season on three goals and he is ready to embrace MacLean’s challenge of hitting double figures.
“Why not?” he said.
“The manager and the coaching staff always talk to me about adding that last little bit to my game – goals.
Max Kucheriavyi's crucial cameo! 🇺🇦
— SPFL (@spfl) September 4, 2023
“They’re quite happy with everything I’m doing but want me to be more direct at times. More selfish. There are times when I can look to shoot rather than pass.
“I know myself I can improve in this area of the game and score more goals.”
Kucheriavyi has featured in seven of Saints’ eight Premiership matches.
It now feels like his Perth career is building real momentum after returning from a third loan spell away from McDiarmid Park.
“Maybe the last loan was quite frustrating because I’d started to get game-time here,” he reflected.
“I’d got called up to the national team but then stopped playing again here.
“I didn’t really understand the reason why I wasn’t getting any time on the pitch.
“There was no point sitting at home being frustrated – it was a situation I had to try and get the best out of.
“Every loan has helped me in different ways. All of them have been beneficial.”