Nottingham Forest midfielder Gary Gardner has admitted that he is not sure whether he will be at the City Ground or back with parent club Aston Villa next season, but did suggest why he may be a valuable member of the Villains' squad if nothing comes from his loan move, the Birmingham Mail reports.
The 23-year-old has struggled to make much of an impression at Villa Park so was given the opportunity to join Forest on loan for the second time in his career during the January transfer window.
And while he conceded that he is not sure whether his future lies, he suggested that should Remi Garde's men be relegated from the Premier League, he may finally get the opportunity he has been waiting for due to his understanding of the demands of the Championship.
"If Villa come down they might look at me more, because I have experience in this division; I have played at this level," he told the Mail.
"I have had no conversations with Villa about playing for them next season, but I've had no conversations about next season here either.
"At the minute, I will be back at Villa in pre-season, because nothing has been said to me, yet, about a permanent move here.
"But who knows what can happen?"
As it currently stands, it appears that Villa are on their way down to the second tier as they sit eight points adrift of safety with just 10 games to go.
And with Forest 13 points off both the bottom three and the top six, it appears that the two sides will be playing in the same division next term, which makes a loan agreement seem a little difficult to imagine.
But based on what he has shown during his loan spell, Villa may want the former England U21 international to become one their key players as they try to get back into the top flight at the earliest opportunity.
But if they decide he is surplus to requirements still, then Forest may well consider attempting to bring the midfielder back on a permanent basis.