Ryan Edmondson is just over a week into his fourth loan spell away from Leeds United since he broke through the club’s academy three and a half years ago.
He will be 21 by the end of the season and his chances of being in and around the Whites first team look all-but dashed.
After spending the first half of this season on loan at Fleetwood Town, it was confirmed last week that he would spend the rest of the campaign at Port Vale.
With the latter playing in League Two, the division below the former, it shows how Edmondson’s progress prior to the new year was viewed after he didn’t score in any of his 11 League One appearances.
The move to Port Vale gives the young striker the opportunity to really kickstart his career after a couple of other slightly underwhelming spells with Aberdeen and Northampton.
Despite his goalscoring shortfalls at each of those clubs, Noel Whelan believes he could work his way into the first-team plans at Elland Road.
“He was not really one that Marcelo Bielsa favoured,” he told Football Insider. “He can still be poking away at the manager, reminding him: ‘I’m still here’. That’s all you want to do.
“When you go out to a lower division from a Premier League club and the nice facilities, it’s about desire. It’s about attitude. It’s about that willingness to make something succeed, no matter where you are.
“Show that you can do it out on loan. Of course it’s not easy going out on loan, feeling like you’re a little bit pushed out the door. But you’re there for a reason.
“If you can adapt to it, show the right attitude and character while you’re out on the field, bag the goals and get that confidence that you need to finish the season strongly, everyone stands up and takes notice.
“The door’s never closed when you’re out on loan as a Leeds United player. Everyone understands that.”
In Marcelo Bielsa’s time as Leeds manager, it has very rarely been good news for players going out on loan as it often means they are not part of his thinking.
Another young Whites player who is likely to leave the club temporarily, Cody Drameh, will probably change that pattern though as he looks as though he could develop into a first-team regular at the club.
It is hard to compare Edmondson with the England U21 right-back but a goalscoring spell for one of the better teams in League Two could see him become part of the longer term plans.
It does feel like a make-or-break period in the 20-year-old’s career as he looks to transfer his goalscoring prowess at youth level into the senior game.