New Manchester United signing Gabriel Obertan admits he was as surprised as anyone when the Premier League champions renewed their interest in him.
The 20-year-old was aware that the Red Devils had watched him in the past but until he helped France Under-21s defeat England at the City Ground in March - when he scored in a 2-0 win - he thought their interest had waned.
That performance is said to have confirmed to United boss Sir Alex Ferguson that the winger had what it took to succeed at Old Trafford.
Obertan is expected to be used sparingly in the first few months of his United career as he grows accustomed to the pace of the Premier League and the player highlighted that he was still getting over the shock of the transfer from Bordeaux.
"I knew they had been following me for a few years but I did not think it was going to happen this season," he told RMC Radio.
"We had no longer been in too much contact until the England Under-21s game where I played well for France and scored a goal.
"That helped things along. We spoke again, and I ended up signing. He (Ferguson) has put me at ease.
"He said to me that he knows my pros and cons. It's my potential that interests him. He has confidence in me.
"It is flattering and surprising. But I know I still have a lot of work to do."
Obertan was not the only one who has voiced his surprise at the deal with his former manager at Bordeaux Laurent Blanc and Lorient chief Christian Gourcuff - where he spent part of last season on loan - pointing out that if the player is to succeed in England he must improve mentally.