Reading midfielder Jake Taylor aims to use his loan move to Motherwell as a springboard to Euro 2016.
The 23-year-old – who has one Wales cap – has joined the Ladbrokes Premiership club for the season, although there is a break clause in January.
With Stephen Pearson facing six to eight weeks out with knee cartilage damage, Taylor could feature against Hearts at Tynecastle tonight and he wants to hit the ground running in a bid to boost his international prospects.
Taylor made 25 appearances for Reading last season and made his Wales debut as a late substitute in a 2-1 European Championship qualifying win over Cyprus.
With Chris Coleman’s side looking a strong bet to qualify for the finals, Taylor has added motivation to succeed at Fir Park as he bids to make the plane to France. “That’s everyone’s aim,” Taylor said. “I have been in four or five squads now and it’s a fantastic place to go away to. Everyone loves going away and working together as a team.
“Wales are in a fantastic position, close to qualifying. We haven’t quite got over the line yet but it would be fantastic to be involved in something like that and the only way I’m going to be involved is if I am playing week in, week out and showing what I can do.
“You have to play at the highest level possible and this is a good stepping stone to push on and hopefully get back in the squad.”
Taylor sought references on the club from former Reading trainee Tom Hateley and current team-mate Nick Blackman, who both had successful spells at Fir Park. “I spoke to a few people who have been up here before and they had great things to say about the club,” he said. “And the SPFL is a great league to be involved in.
“Tom Hateley is from the same area I grew up in, so I have known him for a while, and Nick Blackman is also at Reading and he said: ‘If you get the chance to go up there it will be a fantastic experience for you’.”
Motherwell manager Ian Baraclough feels Taylor will make an impact on a midfield that was looking short on cover following Pearson’s opening-day injury, which will require surgery on Friday.
Baraclough said: “He is full of energy, has really good mobility, box to box. He is not averse to going out of his comfort zone, with some of the places he has gone out on loan.”