MAURICE EDU admits that joining a Premier League club fulfils a lifelong dream . . . and believes the time is right to challenge himself in the top flight.
The 26-year-old American international completed his move from Rangers after their demotion to Scottish football's third tier - one of three signings that were completed by the Potters on a busy deadline day at the backend of last month.
Having been capped 40 times for the United States, as well as appearing in the Champions League with the Glasgow club, he feels now is the moment to test his potential in a division he watched keenly as a youngster.
"I don't think I was much different to any other kid - when you dream of playing overseas, you dream of playing in the Premier League," said Edu when he spoke to exclusively to Stoke City Player.
"For my personal situation, it was inevitable that I had to get out and move on. I had a lot of great times at Rangers, but the World Cup's coming and I want to be a part of that, so it's important that I was playing top flight football.
"Everything's been kind of crazy over the last few weeks, but I'm excited to be here now."
The midfielder only had one training session with the Potters before flying away for international duty with his country, where he played a part in both of their crucial CONCACAF World Cup qualifiers against Jamaica.
With the whole City squad getting together for one of the first times over the last fortnight, Edu says he's been grateful for the chance to acquaint himself with his new team-mates and surroundings.
"I've had a week or so now to get involved with the boys and get some banter going, but more importantly to get involved in training," he added.
"To get in the first-team is my goal now. I'm keen to get involved with the team as soon as possible and just start playing games and enjoying myself again."
Edu links up with international team-mate Geoff Cameron at the Britannia Stadium, and admits that the former Houston Dynamo man's presence has eased his settling in period.
"It definitely does help - I had a similar situation at my previous club, in that I went into a team with another American," he said.
"It helps that we come from similar backgrounds and share similar interests. It's nice just to have a familiar face when you go into a new club and you can help each other out both on and off the pitch."
With Cameron having already played in front of the Potters fans after making his debut against Arsenal, Edu is looking forward to getting his chance and is excited about the possibility of featuring against Chelsea.
"It would be unbelievable. Chelsea are the European champions and a club that's done well over the last few years," he said.
"To play at Stamford Bridge and make my debut there would be an unbelievable experience, but to be honest, I'd be excited to make my debut in any game.
"More importantly, though, hopefully we can go there and get a good result, and just keep moving and continue heading in the right direction."