Che Adams will feel like he has so much to prove on Friday night.
Not only has his first Premier League goal for Southampton proved elusive since his £15m summer switch from Birmingham City but he comes up against Leicester, the hometown club who have turned him down “four or five” times.
He’ll be desperate to find the net for the first time this season and, though it is October and the wait goes on, he has a knack of patiently waiting for success.
He was released at 14 after spending seven years with Coventry, and several trials with the Foxes came to nothing.
“The first time would have been before Coventry, so under-8s, and it was until under-16s – that would have been my last go,” Adams told The Guardian this summer.
“Leicester was the closest team to us so it was always a dream to play for them.”
He may not have made it to the King Power but taking them on in the Premier League will be a different dream come true. He’s worked hard for this moment.
The 23-year-old had to go backwards to move forwards and it paid off. He joined Oadby Town before catching the eye at Ilkeston.
“At that age, it’s make or break,” he said of being let go by Coventry. “You either go down the education route or you keep working hard at your football. That’s what I did.”
“[In non-league] it’s just a question of how hard you’re going to get kicked. You definitely get kicked harder in nonâleague because the referee is all the way in the other penalty box or on the other side of the pitch.
“Of course it’s frustrating but I was a little boy and I couldn’t really say anything to the older men, could I? It’s a little kid running around you and you just want to kick him as hard as you can to stop him from doing that.”
The spell in non-league was worthwhile. He could so easily have turned his back on the game but dropping down helped him earn a move to Sheffield United.
Then came Birmingham, and last season he bagged 22 goals as he featured in every one of the Blues’ Championship games.
Full of direct running and with a keen eye for goal, he had plenty of suitors, including Everton.
It was Southampton who made the move and showed the most faith though, tying him to a five-year deal.
He’ll be desperate to repay the faith with a goal against a team he knows all about.
Growing up in Thurnby Lodge, just a 20-minute drive from Leicester’s old home ground Filbert Street, plenty of eyes will be on his performance.
Now, on the grandest of stages, he has the glare of the football world on him too.
But Che Adams has proved himself before and he can again.