Nigel de Jong believes it will be two years before he reaches his peak - and he has hinted he may seek to leave Manchester City when he does. The 24-year-old joined City from Hamburg in January to join a number of other high-profile signings this season including Robinho, Shay Given and Shaun Wright-Phillips.
The Holland international believes he is better playing every week at Eastlands than sitting on the bench at a bigger club, but that could change. He said: "Everyone wants to play in a top team, but would you get a guaranteed starting place?"At City I play every week in the best league in Europe.
"I see this as a two-year project. Then I'll only be 26, at the top of my abilities, and I could raise my profile for two seasons."
De Jong insists he left Hamburg on good terms."The contact with the president and the technical director remained good," he said.
"I left in an amicable way and that's how I wanted it - that way, I can always return if I don't succeed in England.
"That won't happen, by the way. I will make it - I'm convinced of that."
The former Ajax midfielder believes young players cannot reach their full potential in Holland. He said: "Look who makes up the Oranje team now: guys like [Ryan] Babel, [Wesley] Sneijder and [Rafael] van der Vaart."They're all guys who people said left Ajax too soon."The Eredivisie is a good breeding ground, which you should leave around your 21st birthday to develop abroad."