Everton fans have had few reasons to be positive this season, however the performances of summer signing Nicola Vlasic have at least put some smiles on their faces, with the 20-year-old proving his quality amid some turgid showings from his teammates.
It is a case not dissimilar to Adnan Januzaj's breakout season at Manchester United, when the then-18-year-old proved to be the only reason to get excited about a match at Old Trafford.
In part due to his age, and in part because he was one of the few players with an affinity to former manager Sir Alex Ferguson, Januzaj performed week in, week out, while his far more experienced teammates floundered.
That was as good as it got for the former Belgian international, at least for now, yet Vlasic will be hoping this is just the start of a successful career in the Premier League.
Defensive problems have shown up in Vlasic's game, but Everton did not sign the attacking midfielder for his nous at the opposite end of the field, and most of the problems can be tied to Morgan Schneiderlin and Idrissa Gueye.
It is in attacking areas where the 20-year-old has shown his quality and in time he is expected to become a very important player for Everton.
A star in the making but one who needs his Everton teammates to up their game for the good of his own, this should be just the start for the Croatian. The issue is that an over-reliance on such a young player for a prolonged period of time benefits no one, at least if Januzaj's fate is anything to go by.