A loan spell is fraught with peril for a youngster.
It is the last step before returning to your parent club and trying to push through to the first team - or having those ties severed and being sold.
So an injury or a change of manager or tactics can be the death knell for a kid trying his utmost to prove himself.
Reiss Nelson has thankfully not befallen these perils, and the young England wing wizard has impressed thus far in his season at Hoffenheim. The first half of the season especially saw some power-packed cameos, and Nelson was taking the Bundesliga by storm.
What of when the youngster returns?
Nelson is perhaps the wide player we have been crying out for. Unai Emery has publicly stated that our squad is sorely lacking a player of genuine width, and Nelson has taken joy in ripping apart full-backs across Germany.
Whether he be cutting in from the flank or getting white paint on his boots and providing crosses from the byline, Nelson has proved that he has the substance to be the answer we are looking for.
Is he the finished article?
No. His consistency is lacking at the moment, and his second half of the season so far has failed to match the first - but let’s cut him a break. That level would have been hard for even more established internationals to follow through an entire campaign - and this is his first full season as a full pro.
How does a kid get better though? Exposure to tests, different players opposing them. With every game they learn something more, and before you know it, they are impressing with a higher frequency.
Look at Hector Bellerin. His debut against Borussia Dortmund coincided with us taking a 90 minute pounding, and the Spaniard looking all at sea - quite the baptism of fire.
This season though, he showed he is integral to our near future.
Besides, blooding the kids is mandatory if you want one of your Academy products to make the grade.
So, Nelson comes back in the summer, takes part in the pre-season and the tours, just like last summer, and takes his rightful place in the squad, another valuable resource for Emery to use to change the game from the bench, or install in the eleven and give us a real threat from the wing.
Nelson’s biggest season yet is impending - and we should be excited.