Matty Willock had done his homework on St Johnstone and was confident that cutting short a spell with Utrecht in favour of four months in Perth was the right career choice for him.
And the sight of Manchester United’s greatest ever manager inside a McDiarmid Park picture frame confirmed to the Old Trafford youngster that this move was meant to be.
“I only found out about the club’s connections with Sir Alex (Ferguson) when I came here,” said the midfielder.
“I didn’t know about that until I spotted a picture of him on the walls at the ground.
“This is a great opportunity to play at the top level in Scotland’s Premiership. I’m looking forward to helping the team.
“Ricky Sbragia is the under-23 coach at United. He spoke about St Johnstone and told me this was a good club to go to.”
Willock could be thrown straight in at the deep end at Tynecastle this afternoon but he isn’t likely to be the only Carrington youth product on the Gorgie playing field.
“A few of the lads I know well from United have just come up here,” he said. “Sean Goss is at Rangers and Demetri Mitchell is at Hearts. They have both done well. Hopefully I can replicate the starts they have had here.
“I looked at the fixtures right way and we have a few hard games coming up and I could be playing against my mates. Maybe even right away against Demetri at Hearts. I am excited to be here. And hopefully I can help St Johnstone win.
“They said the game here was quite physical and played at a good tempo. They both told me I would learn a lot in Scotland and it was a great place to come to.”
Willock has it all to prove in senior football but the fact that he is keen to test himself in a first team environment rather stay in a Netherlands comfort zone certainly bodes well.
“I had signed a two year contract with United before going to Utrecht on loan for a full season,” he said.
“I wasn’t getting as much game time as I’d have liked, although it was a great experience coming off the bench to play Ajax in the Amsterdam Arena. We won that game as well so that was a great feeling.
“I could have stayed at Utrecht. That would have been the easy option. I was comfortable there with a nice apartment.
“I feel I learned a lot in Holland but I am 21 now and want to be playing more games. I want to learn and improve as a player.
“So I spoke to my agent and asked if there would clubs interested in Scotland or England. He came up with a few and I thought this would be the best opportunity for me.”
Willock was an unused substitute for United’s top team under Jose Mourinho and has been rubbing shoulders with world class stars.
He said: “It was great to get on the bench for United and I enjoyed being in the squads and learning from big name players. Just being around them in training and seeing how they prepare for games was good for me.
“It really helped that someone like Paul Pogba talked to me when I got into the full squad. He used to wear 42 when he was younger. He saw me when I was first in the squad and spotted I was wearing his old number and made a little joke about it.
“That was good of him because it helped me feel part of things, having a big player like him come over. It can be daunting at United so that helped settle my nerves.
“You have a dream to be playing for the first team but I was taking it step by step. And I have enjoyed every step. Seeing the big players is motivational and you realise they are just human being like everyone else. You realise if you work hard and learn from them you could reach that level one day.
“Coming here I want to learn and play as much as I can. I want to help the team. I will work as hard as I can in midfield. I try to be a box to box player.
“I don’t think opposition players will target me just because I am from Manchester United. I’m not worried about that. I know there are a lot of good players in this league. For me it’s about first team football at this stage of my career.”
Scott Tanser and Zander Clark should return, with David McMillan and Brian Easton sidelined.