Manchester United fans know their loanees will either sink or swim, it's part of the preparation to see if they will ever be able to cut it at the club.
While once highly rated Federico Macheda continually 'sunk', one of this season's prospects to be loaned for the first time, Nick Powell has been swimming with ease.
What happens next is very unclear. Wigan sacked manager Owen Coyle on Monday morning, plunging Powell's own season into further uncertainty.
Rumours had already sprung up over the past few days that David Moyes was considering recalling the in-form player, reported by The Express, with the further option of sending him to a Premier League side for the rest of the season to fast-track his progress for next season.
United have had a positive loan relationship with Wigan in recent years, sending Tom Cleverley and Angelo Henriquez, the latter less successfully, to the club - but it was considered that manager Owen Coyle played a key role, with his proven record of working with young players at Bolton, where he had Daniel Sturridge and Jack Wilshere for short periods.
While Wigan's league form was clearly reason enough for owner Dave Whelan to want to get rid, Powell's was positive with three goals in 10 games, and three in four Europa starts on top of that.
The sacking of Coyle makes his future for now uncertain, if it wasn't enough already, and it could accelerate David Moyes' decision to bring him back.
image: © wonker