This was not how the Freddy Adu story was supposed to play out.
As a precociously-gifted teenager, the Ghana-born starlet was tipped to set the footballing world alight.
He signed his first professional contract at the age of 14 and was dubbed ‘the new Pele’ by those getting rather carried away by his potential.
It did not take long, though, for heavyweight outfits to take note, with Premier League giants Manchester United among those to offer Adu an opportunity to impress on trial.
He has gone on to become a full USA international and enjoy a spell at Portuguese giants Benfica, but he has also become a sporting nomad and now – following short-lived stints at Blackpool, AZ Alkmaar and Serbian side KK Jagodina – finds himself without a club again.
Adu has attempted to play down reports that he was released by his latest employers, but he is still facing up to an uncertain future.
Easy guys I signed a 6 month contract. And it's done now. I didn't get "released". Knew I was leaving a few months ago. #truth— Freddy Adu (@FreddyAdu) December 22, 2014
Thank God for Twitter. There are a lot of false information out there. I signed a 6 MONTH deal and it's done now. Simple as that. #truth— Freddy Adu (@FreddyAdu) December 22, 2014
Remarkably, given how long he appears to have been in the news, Adu is still only 25 years of age.
There is time for him to put things right, possibly earn an international recall and prove that he is capable of enjoying a productive career.
There will be no high-profile transfers – those days are long gone – but a return to the States is being mooted and that could be a first step in the right direction for a child prodigy who has lost his way.