Marcus McGuane was an interesting addition to the Nottingham Forest under-23 ranks when he swapped Barcelona for the City Ground in February.
The youngster had been on the books at Arsenal and even made two appearances in the first-team under Arsene Wenger.
Last season he spent time out on loan Dutch second tier outfit SC Telstar, where he scored once and registered three assists.
The 21-year-old wasn’t deemed ready for first-team action this season either – with Forest loaning him out to Oxford United.
It’s fair to say the loan move hasn’t really worked out just yet either.
Oxford haven’t enjoyed the best of starts to their League One campaign, currently sitting in 21st place.
McGuane has failed to establish himself as a regular in Karl Robinson’s team either, starting just three times in the league.
When he has played he has done alright. He registered two assists against MK Dons and another during a recent win over Rochdale.
Forest will have hoped to see McGuane feature more prominently at the Kassam Stadium and that might offer the Reds food for thought in January.
Loan spells are pretty much pointless if the player in question isn’t going to feature and that is causing a bit of a problem for Forest right now.
McGuane has been an unused substitute in four of Oxford’s nine league games – failing to make the bench in two others.
He will hope to find some form in the coming months with a busy winter period on the horizon.
What next for McGuane?
The former Barcelona and Arsenal prodigy needs to be playing football.
Robinson will have surely signed him to play in his natural central midfield role but even that is being messed around with.
During the his last two league outings he has played on the left-wing and although he’s done well, that won’t be where Forest see his future.
The big challenge for McGuane is to keep his head down and force his way into Oxford’s team on a consistent basis.
If he does that he will have every chance of returning to the City Ground in the summer in good shape to try and catch Chris Hughton’s eye.
Where Forest might have a problem is if he remains out of the reckoning between now and Christmas.
The Reds have high hopes for McGuane and they’ll want him to be playing regular first-team football.
If he’s not doing that, recalling him might be the only viable option for the Forest youngster.