It doesn’t take long for the narrative to change around a new player.
Just ask James Rodriguez. When Everton won their first four Premier League games, the former Real Madrid superstar was being hailed the signing of the summer, a player capable of transforming the Toffees into genuine Champions League candidates.
Now, after a couple of defeats and a mixed performance against Fulham, those very same critics are wondering if James is as much a blessing as he is a curse; a lack of defensive discipline undermining his defence-splitting instincts.
Just a few weeks after Marc Roca was being hailed as an inspired £13 million addition to a Bayern Munich side looking to pad out their star-studded squad with some much-needed depth, questions are being asked about a midfielder snapped up after suffering relegation with Espanyol.
Roca has played just one minute of Bundesliga football so far.
But, with Leon Goretzka, Corentin Tolisso and Joshua Kimmich all unavailable for the weekend’s clash with Werder Bremen, the expectation was that the Spain U21 international would finally be handed a first league start.
Imagine the surprise, then, when the deep-lying play-maker was left out once again with coach Hansi Flick favouring the ageing 32-year-old Javi Martinez in the ‘Kimmich role’.
Despite a miserable end to his Espanyol career, Roca had a mountain of offers on his table over the summer, from Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal (Razon), to Aston Villa (MD), Sheffield United to Burnley (La Grada).
But was his move to Bayern Munich a mistake? Or perhaps a classic case of a young player needing time to adapt to a new league and a new language.
“If I speak positively about a player, it doesn’t mean that he has a guaranteed regular place,” Flick said after Bayern slipped to a 1-1 draw with Bremen (BFW).