Sometimes players just need to be given a chance. Many are written off too readily or simply struggle to make an impact in a certain environment. How many times have you seen footballers pilloried simply for taking a little time to adjust to new surroundings?
We all know it's nothing but knee-jerk to pounce on anyone too quickly, and there are a fair number of players who are proving that patience can be a virtue when it comes to breaking the big time in the Premier League.
Here are five examples of peripheral figures who have come to prominence this season and are seizing their opportunities at the top level...
Caglar Soyuncu – Leicester City
The Turkish international arrived from Freiburg for £19million last summer but was forced to be patient as Harry Maguire and Jonny Evans were Leicester City’s preferred centre-back pairing in 2018/19. Although Soyuncu made just six Premier League appearances in his debut season, he has impressively replaced the departing Maguire since the England international's switch to Manchester United.
A blend of physical strength and technical ability make Soyuncu the ideal defender for a progressive manager like Brendan Rodgers. After a fragmented first season, he’s quickly become an indispensable part of an exciting side, playing every minute of every game so far for the high-flying Foxes.
Lys Mousset – Sheffield United
Prior to the start of this season, Mousset’s Premier League record didn’t make for pleasant reading - in 58 appearances he’d scored just three goals.
In his defence, he’d often been restricted to brief cameos as a second-half substitute, but it’s a testament to the transformation Mousset has undergone since leaving Bournemouth that he’s already matched his previous goals total in just nine games for Sheffield United.
A lively striker with precisely the sort of attitude and work ethic that Chris Wilder demands from his players, Mousset has benefited from a change of scenery.
He’s still not guaranteed to start given the array of strikers he’s competing against at Bramall Lane, but the 23-year-old is confident of making an impact whenever he’s on the pitch.
Tyrone Mings – Aston Villa
Through a combination of terrible injuries, bad timing and the consistency of his defensive colleagues, Mings endured a difficult four years at Bournemouth. Signed for £8million from Ipswich Town in the summer of 2015, he made a mere 17 appearances in the Premier League during his spell on the south coast.
Mings needed a move away and successfully rediscovered his best form on loan at Aston Villa last season, rapidly becoming a fans’ favourite as he steadied an uncertain defence on the way to play-off success. He relished the responsibility of marshalling a defence, and a permanent move to Villa Park gave him the platform needed to prove himself at the top level.
He even earned an England call-up earlier this season on the back of his performances for Dean Smith's men, making his debut in the 6-0 Euro qualifying win away to Bulgaria.
Adama Traore – Wolverhampton Wanderers
It’s often been difficult to know what to make of Traore. Built more like a stereotypical rugby player than a footballer, he possesses exceptional pace, strength and dribbling skills. At times he can be virtually unstoppable but at others he struggles to make any real impression on the game. Too often his decision-making has been awry.
That’s changed this season following a change of position. After a fitful first season at Wolves, often playing as part of the front three, he’s had much more of an impact since reverting to wing-back.
The 23-year-old is making decisive contributions more regularly and enjoyed an explosive turn as a striker away to Manchester City, when breaking clear to score both goals in a 2-0 win at the Etihad Stadium.
Dan Burn – Brighton & Hove Albion
The towering centre-back may have wondered if his chance for a sustained run in the Brighton team would ever arrive. Signed from Wigan Athletic last summer, Burn was immediately loaned back to them until January. When he returned to the Amex he was limited to just three outings in the FA Cup as he observed the club’s league struggles from the substitutes’ bench.
Following Graham Potter’s appointment, Burn quickly became a key component of a rejuvenated Brighton side. He started the season at centre-back but was then moved out to the left once Adam Webster had found his bearings. Burn has shown deftness and passing ability alongside the aerial strength he was already renowned for.