There was a sense of excitement about Alfie McCalmont’s next move, when it emerged that the Leeds United youngster was likely to leave on loan in the summer transfer window.
Already capped by Northern Ireland and apparently well-thought-of by the Leeds head coach Marcelo Bielsa, there was little indication that McCalmont would struggle to find a temporary home.
But it wasn’t until the end of September, in the penultimate week of the regular business period, that the 20-year-old finally secured his switch.
And there was some surprise when his takers turned out to be Harry Kewell’s Oldham Athletic, of the English League Two.
Still, first-team football of any kind is better than being stuck in the under-23s, as most players will tell you.
And McCalmont made a promising start across the Pennines, appearing in five successive games for which he was available – the only one he missed being while he was away with Norn Ire.
Of those, the Yorkshireman started four and he assisted the winner in Oldham’s only victory throughout that spell.
But while his young Leeds teammates Robbie Gotts, Jordan Stevens and Bryce Hosannah were each involved for their loan clubs on Tuesday, McCalmont was left on the bench for the third successive game.
With Oldham having won two of those, it is likely that run will extend to four at the weekend – after which he could be away once again with his country’s under-21s.
And unless things change for the better in the next eight weeks, Leeds may find themselves forced into a January rethink.