Socceroo-in-waiting Harry Souttar is thriving at Fleetwood Town and admits he is thankful he rejoined the English League One club on loan this season.
Souttar spent the 2018/19 campaign on loan from Stoke City to Fleetwood, and decided to return to the Fishermen this season.
The defender has been a regular for the club so far, making nine first-team appearances and scoring one goal.
Fleetwood have been flying in the third tier and sit just four points off top spot. They have lost only two of their first 10 league matches and are currently in third place on the table.
Souttar, who could make his debut for Australia against Nepal next week, conceded it was a "no-brainer" to decide to come back to the Lancashire outfit.
"It’s really good," the 20-year-old told Fleetwood Today.
"In the summer, when I knew that Fleetwood were interested in having me back, it was a no-brainer for me to come back here.
"That’s what I wanted to do and I tried to get it done as quick as possible. I spoke to my agent in the summer and I was going to give it a couple of weeks to see what was happening at Stoke.
"But when the chance came about, that I was told I was going to be allowed on loan again, there was only going to be one place that I wanted to come and I’m thankful I’m back here.
"I thank the gaffer (Joey Barton), he gave me a chance in English football. It was the first team I’d come to in England where I was playing regular first-team football.
"That’s why I wanted to come back as well, to repay him. I know it’s hard for a young centre-half to play in the Football League.
"It’s been massive to me and long may it continue."