James Hill wants to use Hearts as springboard to launch 2026 England World Cup dream
The 21-year-old has been excellent in maroon since making his loan move from Bournemouth in the January transfer window after moving to the Premier League side for a seven-figure last summer.
An England under-21 international, Hill caught the eye after starring for Fleetwood Town in League One but found the immediate switch to the top flight a little tough to break into.
He hopes his performances will catch the eye of Cherries boss Gary O’Neil and he’ll become a regular member of the squad when his loan at Tynecastle expires in the summer.
From there he wants to break into the England set up. He knows it may sound fanciful but believes there’s nothing wrong with aiming for the very top.
"I’m looking at the players in the age band that I represent and I’m thinking ‘how can you ever be satisfied?’ You want to be the next one,” he said.
“I’m looking at the next World Cup in four years and it might be a long shot but those are the goals I’m aiming for. One day I want to be playing for the first team at England level. It is a dream but as a kid, the dream for me was to be a footballer, so who’s to say I can’t achieve my next dream?
“I’m 21 years of age and when it comes to my goals I have more unticked boxes than ticked boxes at the moment and that’s the way you’ve got to think. You have to keep striving for the top.
“I am at Hearts and I’m playing week in, week out and that is tremendous for me but my goal now is to help Hearts to get to where they want to get to. They have given me the opportunity to play football and that gives me the chance to go back to Bournemouth and say ‘listen, gaffer, I’m here, I’ve made a statement and now there is no excuse not to use me unless you think I need more experience’.
“It is step by step, baby steps, but hopefully I am striding out in the Premier League one day.”