Deji Sotona left Manchester United last summer in the hope of first-team chances elsewhere. So this season has come as a blow to his short-term hopes.
The Irish winger left Old Trafford in late 2020 despite being offered a new three-year contract.
That is how highly United rated the teenager. However, it seems he considered the prospect of a short-term senior breakthrough and decided to chance his hand somewhere else.
That took him to France, where he signed for Ligue 1 Nice.
It was a bold and potentially brilliant move for Sotona. Joining Angel Gomes and Largie Ramazani in leaving United despite the chance to stay, the now-18-year-old clearly wanted to play football.
So it was a big disappointment when his chance of a first-team breakthrough at his new club hit a roadblock.
Sotona was never going to burst immediately into the starting XI of a Ligue 1 side . But he would have hoped to impress for the reserves.
At United, Sotona was only just making the step up to the U23s. He had one appearance at that level, having scored five goals and provided two assists in 20 U18 games.
The young attacker really was finding his feet at United and his last ever appearance for the club saw a two-goal haul in a 3-2 U18 win.
Unfortunately for the youngster, the suspension of French reserve football has robbed him of opportunities.
Unlucky for now
The former United man has been training with Nice’s first-team. But he is yet to get a chance at that level.
With no reserve football in which to stake a claim, Sotona’s only chance to impress is in training. And there is only so much he can do there.
There is no doubt Sotona’s time will come. He was tipped for big things at United and Nice have bagged a bargain.
It is just a shame that, with no second-string games in which to shine, the one-time United prospect is waiting a bit longer for that first-team bow.