Tug-of-war youngster Alexander Robertson is ready to put a nightmare injury run behind him, as competition for his international allegiance hots up between Australia, England, Peru and Scotland ahead of September’s FIFA Under-17 World Cup.
The Scotland-born, Australia-raised 15-year-old Manchester City youth star is eligible to play for all four nations, and already has two caps and a goal for the Three Lions' under-16s side.
With father Mark and granddad Alex both representing Australia, the green and gold bloodlines run deep.
However, the attacking midfielder already has a foot in the England camp and Peru - the birthplace of his mother - recently sent a delegation to Manchester to try and win his heart.
The highly-rated Robertson is back in training after three months out with an ankle injury which struck just seven weeks after recovering from an eight-month layoff with a hip problem.
“They thought he might have broken his leg at first,” said father Mark whose clubs included Swindon, Dundee and St Johnstone.
“He should be playing again by February, and we will then see what the year has in store.
“City think the world of him and the setbacks won’t make any difference in his progress going forward.”
Joeys coach Trevor Morgan is an admirer of the box-to-box talent, and having been knocked back by City last year, is likely to invite him into a camp in March.
However City chiefs are likely to ration his national team call-ups to three a year and prefer him to stay closer to home with England, where he can also complete his academic studies.
“It’s about getting the best outcome football wise but also academically,” added Manchester-based Mark, who brought Alexander to Australia as a five-year-old and back to the UK in 2015.
“He’d like to play for Australia and will put in the request with the club for March.”
However, with City also responsible for his schooling, there are no guarantees he will be released.
Robertson, first and foremost, will be looking to get some much needed football under his belt to make up for the interruptions to a budding career.
“Peru also want him to attend a camp and play for them, which is no different to the Australian situation at this point,” Mark added.
“He missed out through injury on joining Scotland for the Victory Shield tournament last year and also an England tournament in Turkey.
“Right now, he’s just trying to catch a break through his fitness.
“He’d just made his debut for Manchester City’s Under-18s (when he got hurt) but is just now looking to get back on track again.”
Robertson is thought of so highly by the Australian hierarchy that he was even invited into Graham Arnold’s first training camp in Turkey last September, only for City to write back saying he was injured.
With England and Scotland likely to qualify for Peru 2017, Robertson’s options are plentiful, though he’d be jumping an age group to play for any of them, a testament to the regard he is held in.
Robertson doesn’t turn 16 until April and has been lauded for his eye for goal, aerial prowess and tenacity in the tackle.
He won’t be tied to any one nation until he plays in a FIFA tournament at senior level.