Borussia Dortmund's Jamie Bynoe-Gittens says it's "crazy" to be part of the senior team after the club's latest English winger made his first start in the Bundesliga.
Bynoe-Gittens followed in the footsteps of Jadon Sancho by moving from Manchester City to Dortmund as a youngster, and the 17-year-old was unleashed from the kick-off in the Matchday 32 defeat against Bochum.
The England youth international played for 63 minutes, leaving the field shortly after Erling Haaland completed his hat-trick to give the home side a 3-2 lead in a pulsating derby game. He was watching from the bench when Bochum struck twice late on to win 4-3, but the result could hardly spoil a special day for the teenager.
"At first it was a big surprise to me because coming from Reading - a small town - not really many people play football," Bynoe-Gittens told bundesliga.com when asked what it was like to play with the likes of Haaland & Co. "So yeah - just crazy to be a part of this team."
Watch: Bynoe-Gittens on his first start
England international Jude Bellingham - still only 18 himself - is no doubt another teammate that Bynoe-Gittens looks up to, but many in the Dortmund set-up feel the latest youngster to break through has every chance to establish himself.
"Jamie is still young," Dortmund attacking midfielder Julian Brandt told bundesliga.com. "You can see he's very assertive and has that carefree nature that young players often pride themselves on.
"I think we've lacked something like that this season - having someone on the wings who wants to - and can - tear past two or three players.
"His talent goes without saying. He's got everything needed to take a big step with us here."
Watch: Brandt on Bynoe-Gittens
The September 2020 signing took another important step in his development by starting against Bochum, and Dortmund head coach Marco Rose was not disappointed.
"He justified his selection - he played well," Rose said after the game. "Jamie is a massive talent who has had some injury problems and that's why we have brought him through slowly with the U19s.
"He gives us something we are sometimes lacking - someone willing to take someone on one-on-one down the wing at pace. He still has to get used to the high tempo of the Bundesliga. He got tired after 60 minutes."
For Bynoe-Gittens - who won't be 18 until August - it's a case of one step at a time.
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