Pedro Lima is hoping to follow in Gabriel Sara's footsteps as he bids to establish himself in Norwich City's first-team squad during their Championship run-in. 

The Brazilian has spent the season on loan at Carrow Road from Palmeiras, plying his trade for their under-21 side until being promoted into the first-team over the last few weeks due to injuries. 

Lima has been a travelling member of City's squad but is yet to work his way onto the bench. The central midfielder has played 12 times in the Premier League Two for Alan Neilson's side, recording seven goal contributions. 

City have spent years building up their knowledge of South America with Lima following Sara and Marcelino Nunez to Carrow Road. 

Sara has been City's most successful South American export since their scouting mission in the region began, with Nunez also playing a key role in David Wagner's squad for their play-off push. 

Reports in Brazil last month indicated that the Canaries would seek to make Lima's spell in Norfolk permanent, and the 21-year-old is learning from Sara's exploits at Carrow Road after a lengthy period of adaptation. 

"(Gabriel Sara) is a person that I look up to on a daily basis, to evolve and know what he is doing, what I can add to my football to achieve the things he is also achieving.

"The game here is more intense, so it demands more physically. I'm basically playing as an eight, in the same role. But here I think that the distance we cover, the level of duel, of confrontation ends up being stronger.

"It took me a while to adapt there in the first few months, but now, after a lot of training and a lot of games, I've started to hit the ground running, and the numbers are good. I'm managing to score a goal and provide assists, which was something I always tried to do since the Palmeiras days, too."

The Pink Un: Gabriel Sara has been a South American success story for Norwich City.Gabriel Sara has been a South American success story for Norwich City. (Image: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd)

Injuries to senior players in City's squad have opened up opportunities for young players to earn spots on the bench, with Waylon Renecke, Finley Welch, Ken Aboh and Guilherme Montoia all featuring in recent matchday squads. 

David Wagner has been forced to dip into the academy to fill his quota on matchday squads, which has provided Lima with hope that his turn may come next. 

Lima has trained regularly with City's first-team squad in recent weeks in preparation for being needed - despite a valuable education for the U21s, the first team is where the midfielder wants to be. 

"It became clearer that there would be more spaces. We know what it's like; the intensity of the Championship results in a lot of injuries," Lima said. "We always have to be ready. I'm preparing a lot so that when the opportunity arises, I'll be ready.

"This is where the top (of the game) is. It's European football. Everyone knows that here is the top of world football, being able to get here, despite being under-21, was something I always wanted."

The biggest challenge for players who arrive in England from South America is adapting to the culture and style of play. 

Lima has outlined the differences between his experiences at City and Brazilian side Palmeiras as he awaits a decision on his future this summer. 

"Here we train on the field, we train in the gym and there is a lot of activity outside too," Lima told Globo Esporte. "The football club here is integrated, back at Palmeiras they divided the academy and the professional, so the logistics ended up being a little more hectic.

The Pink Un: Pedro Lima has featured for Norwich City's under-21 side since his loan move from Palmeiras.Pedro Lima has featured for Norwich City's under-21 side since his loan move from Palmeiras. (Image: Izzy Poles)

"The game routine is a little different. In Brazil, there were more championships, more games, more trips. So, in terms of day-to-day life, training, we ended up having less. Here, because the calendar is a little calmer in terms of games, we can focus more on the physical part. I always knew that this evolution would be important for me.

"I've had a lot of time to watch (Palmeiras), except when the games are played at night, because here we have three or four hours more, right? I can't watch the games at night, but I'll watch them the next day. I’ve been rooting a lot for them."