SWANSEA could play a big part in Ki Sung-Yueng's future — after one of the city's sons had a major influence on his past.
Ki is preparing for South Korea's first World Cup game against Russia tonight, with Garry Monk waiting to welcome him back into the Liberty fold after a campaign spent in Sunderland.
It is hoped the club can provide the talented midfielder with the platform to produce his best as Swansea City gear up for another assault on the Premier League.
The 25-year-old arrived in South Wales from Celtic in August 2013 for a then club record £5.5 million.
That represented another big step on a career that began when he was sent to Australia in 2001.
Ki enrolled on an elite football programme at John Paul College in Brisbane, run by Swansea-born former Wales international Jeff Hopkins.
The 50-year-old won 16 international caps during a career that included spells with Fulham, Crystal Palace, Plymouth Argyle, Bristol Rovers and Reading.
And he remembers the young Ki well, though back then the youngster called himself David.
"I first met David when he was 14 when I was appointed as his head coach," remembers Hopkins.
"He impressed me straight away with his football qualities. He was technically excellent, his ball striking was equally effective with either foot and he had a great range of passing.
"He was a great decision-maker and calm and comfortable in possession of the ball, unusual for a kid of his age.
"But, as much as that impressed me, he was just as impressive as a person. He was respectful and polite but very self-driven and confident.
"He wanted to listen and was keen to learn and work hard. The biggest problem I had was stopping him over training.
"David was and still is the most talented young player I have worked with, and I had a good idea he was going to at least have a good professional career in the Korean league."
In 2005 Ki received an offer to join Australian A League side Brisbane Roar, but opted instead to return home and signed for FC Seoul.
Ki shone playing in national under-17, 20 and 23 sides, making his full South Korea debut in 2008.
A year later he was snapped up by Celtic for just over £2 million.
"Once he left and joined Seoul FC and became part of the junior national teams things really took off for him and it wasn't long before the scouts from Europe started to take notice," said Hopkins.
"I remember thinking when he moved to Celtic that he definitely had the personality and temperament to take it in his stride and it would not be long before he moved on to the Premier League.
"I was really pleased when he joined Swansea not only because it was my home town but because the football philosophy of the club suits David's game.
"Swansea are the team along with Fulham that I always follow so I could keep an even closer eye on him.
"He is still young and although he has achieved a great deal already, I still feel he will keep getting better so his best football could still be ahead of him.
"With his personality, I am sure David still has a lot of great football ahead of him and lots he still wants to achieve."
At the moment Ki's focus will be on performing for his country as they begin against Russia in Brazil this evening.
Belgium and Algeria are the other sides in a group that appears more open than many.
"It will be great seeing David play in Brazil over the next few weeks and I will look on with a great deal of pride," added Hopkins.
"He has achieved so much for himself in a short period of time.
"He will be a key player for South Korea, and it's very important that key players perform in a group where they have a good chance of progressing."