Tom Carroll has been with Tottenham Hotspur for six years now, but since signing his first professional contract in 2010, the talented midfielder has only made seven league appearances for the club.
The arrival of Mauricio Pochettino looked like it could be the appointment that would see Carroll rise up, given Pochettino's excellent record of working with young Englishmen, but instead the 22-year-old was loaned out to Swansea for the season.
The move to the Swans is certainly not a bad move, as they play the style of football that suits Carroll's natural game. Short, quick passing is how the Spurs youngster likes to play, and that is perhaps why the loan spell at Queens Park Rangers in the Championship didn't work wonders last year.
He has made three appearances under Garry Monk so far, with only one of those in the Premier League but he proved again last night that he has the ability to succeed at the highest level.
Carroll was one of four Spurs players in the England Under-21 side that won in Croatia last night, joining Eric Dier, Harry Kane and Alex Pritchard, and the central midfielder impressed once again as he looked calm in possession and his corner was met by Liam Moore early on to give England the lead.
He has often been compared to Luka Modric, because of his short, agile style of football and his ability to find the right pass from a deep-lying playmaker role, but it is difficult to see where he will fit into the Spurs side when he returns to the club.
The 4-2-3-1 formation would mean that Carroll has to play alongside a holding midfielder, but Spurs are stacked with options in that position as Etienne Capoue, Moussa Dembele, Benjamin Stambouli, Nabil Bentaleb and now Ryan Mason are all fighting for a starting role.
Mason burst onto the scene last month, and if he finds himself in and around the squad on a weekly basis, Carroll will find it very difficult to force his way into the first-team next year or beyond.
Loan spells away from the club each season will not be what Carroll needs, and the club will have a big decision to make on whether they can accommodate one of England's brighter young midfield talents come next summer.
Have something to tell us about this article?