Alassane Plea hopes to follow the example of Stuttgart's FIFA World Cup winner Benjamin Pavard as the on-fire Borussia Mönchengladbach forward aims for a France call-up.

Following his summer move from Nice, Plea has started life in the Bundesliga like a train with his strike in Gladbach's 3-0 win at Bayern Munich on Matchday 7 his fifth goal of the campaign.

Regarded as a useful top-flight performer in his native country, the former Lyon forward has already taken a step up in status with the Foals, though his current red-hot streak of form came too late for him to be considered by Didier Deschamps for Les Bleus' friendly with Iceland and UEFA Nations League encounter with Germany later this month.

Watch: Plea scores a stunner as Gladbach draw at Wolfsburg

However, after seeing Pavard go from unknown to household name and world champion in the space of two seasons in Germany, Plea told L'Equipe he now hopes to mimic the Stuttgart defender's rocket-propelled trajectory onto the international scene.

"Every player thinks about it, but I'm aware I still have some steps to take before being able to contend for a call-up," said Plea, who has just one U21 cap — won in 2014 — to his name. "Les Bleus, it's the very top level. It's up to me to keep working hard to be able to be called up one day. The example of Benjamin Pavard gives me hope, because it's proof the national team coach follows the Bundesliga and you don't necessarily have to be playing for a massive European club to get called up."

Benjamin Pavard has established himself as a France international and FIFA World Cup winner in just two seasons at Stuttgart. © imago

France's FIFA World Cup-winning boss Deschamps will surely have more than one eye on Plea, who has been the spearhead of Gladbach's excellent opening to the 2018/19 campaign. While the striker's goals have grabbed the headlines, his work ethic has also provoked plaudits as he has helped push Gladbach into third, just three points behind early season pacesetters Borussia Dortmund.

"I feel really confident, things are going my way. I'm scoring, I'm improving, and it's not a problem for me to track back. I like putting in an effort for the team and giving my all. I'm happy with myself. I enjoy the fact of playing in a team that favours attacking football and putting on a show. Everything is in place for me to flourish," explained Plea.

French speakers in the Gladbach squad, such as Thorgan Hazard, have smoothed Plea's switch from France to Germany. © gettyimages / Cathrin Mueller

"We have a good group with great potential. The squad has strength in depth and we undoubtedly have the qualities to qualify for Europe next season. We play good football and everyone enjoys themselves. Our coach has a lot of experience. The battle for the European places will be tight, but we have a chance, especially as not playing in Europe this season could be favourable for us."

Plea's stunning form has made it appear the 25-year-old has found the cross-border transition an easy one to make, but the Lille-born forward admitted he has found the Bundesliga a step up on France's Ligue 1.

"It's an ultra-competitive league. In terms of rhythm and intensity, the Bundesliga is a level above Ligue 1, as well as in terms of popularity. We regularly play in front of 60-70,000 fans. Each game is a sell-out.

"In training, everything is done with great discipline and thoroughness. I'm really happy to have signed for Borussia, and all the more so as I am really enjoying playing in this league," he stated, adding the opportunity to speak his mother tongue with teammates such as Belgium international Thorgan Hazard and Switzerland duo Yann Sommer and Denis Zakaria has helped make the change smoother.

"I've been very warmly welcomed. I'm settling in really well. I'm happy on and off the pitch. It's my first experience of playing abroad, and I'm fortunate to have a number of French speakers as teammates, which has helped me settle in, but the others players too — that's helped me get my bearings quickly. It reminds me of Nice where there's the same sort of atmosphere, so I don't feel homesick."

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