As recently as 2012, Gary Hooper was firing Celtic into the group stages of the Champions League, telling the world how it was his dream to play for Barcelona and was being talked about as a contender for a senior England call-up.
Fast forward two years and the 26-year-old is now struggling to get a game at Championship side Norwich City.
Leaving the comforts of Parkhead was always going to provide a stern test of Cooper’s credentials, with questions inevitably asked of his ability to transfer Scottish Premiership form to the Premier League.
Joining a side which struggled throughout the 2013/14 campaign and ended up succumbing to relegation was not the best career choice, although Hooper did manage six top-flight goals.
He was expected, alongside other proven marksmen such as Cameron Jerome and Lewis Grabban, to form a formidable forward line in the second tier as Norwich surged to promotion at the first time of asking.
Once again, though, things have not gone entirely to plan for a man who could not be much further away from international recognition at present.
Hooper has managed just one league start this season and only opened his goal account in a 3-3 draw with Brighton & Hove Albion on Saturday.
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Canaries boss Neil Adams insists a striker with 20-goal-a-season pedigree remains an important part of his plans, but should he be looking elsewhere for regular game time?
Adams said: “He really has been in my thoughts to start in these last few games. He has been working really hard in training, he has looked really sharp and he is probably kicking his heels and as frustrated as anyone in the squad because he knows he can score goals and you saw that with his finish. He earned us a draw from a game we should have won.”
There surely would be no shortage of takers were Hooper to be made available in January, even if he had to resign himself to the fact that he may have to work from the second tier up.
A loan deal could be beneficial, if Norwich are reluctant to completely cut their losses on a £5 million signing, with Wolverhampton Wanderers and Leeds United in need of goals and Middlesbrough set to see Patrick Bamford’s loan agreement with Chelsea expire in the New Year.
Hooper may, however, be looking to prove his worth at Carrow Road, with there every chance that his effort against Brighton, coupled with a nine-game run without a goal for Grabban, will see him awarded the opportunities he craves by Adams.