"As a kid, I felt that it was all happening too quickly for me," he told The Times. "Chelsea invited me to be a ballboy when Liverpool, the team I supported, played at Stamford Bridge, and I got to meet all the players in the changing rooms afterwards.
"I had my picture taken with Michael Owen. I've shown it to him since and we've had a laugh about it. But it was the right decision to play for Southampton: it was a family club and I just wanted to play. All the coaches were brilliant," he said, taking a breather between England training sessions. "I'm sure I wouldn't be here now if it wasn't for them."