Christian Pulisic's days at Borussia Dortmund have long seemed to be numbered, and never more than on the 24th October last year.
After a muted performance on the right wing against Atletico Madrid, Pulisic was substituted off with his side commanding a comfortable 2-0 lead.
His replacement, Jadon Sancho, did more in 11 minutes than Pulisic had managed in 79, and by full-time it was 4-0. A good night had turned into a special night.
Christian Pulisic's days at Borussia Dortmund were numbered when Jadon Sancho emerged
For young players such as Pulisic and Sancho, the line between good and special can be difficult to pin down. It can be crossed both ways, as hype and pressure take their toll and thrilling youngsters turn into established players.
Pulisic, once Dortmund's most exciting talent, is now overshadowed by Sancho, whose meteoric rise has been one of the most special stories in European football this year.
For that reason alone, news that Pulisic will make a long-mooted transfer to Chelsea next summer is probably good news for all involved.
Pulisic struggled against Atletico Madrid before Sancho replaced him and changed the game
Chelsea will acquire a fine footballer who has the potential to become a devastating attacking force. Borussia Dortmund pick up a sizeable transfer fee but, by loaning Pulisic back until the end of the season, do not have to weaken their squad as they prepare to make an assault on the Bundesliga title this spring.
Finally, Pulisic himself can break free of a frustrating situation at Dortmund and realise a long-held dream of playing in England.
'It was always Christian's dream to play in the Premier League, and as a result we weren't able to renew his contract,' said Dortmund sporting director Michael Zorc on Wednesday. 'Christian is a player with a flawless character and I am sure that he will give everything in the coming months.'
With Marco Reus on the left wing, there is not enough room to accommodate both players
Born: Pennsylvania, USA
Position: Attacking midfielder/winger
Borussia Dortmund - 115 apps 15 goals
United States - 23 caps 9 goals
The move has been on the cards since the summer, and had only become more likely as Pulisic struggled to break into the first team under new Dortmund coach Lucien Favre. The American international has made only five starts this season, as Sancho has taken his place in an almost like-for-like swap.
Like Sancho, Pulisic is an explosive winger, a superb dribbler of the ball and an intelligent assist-provider. Chelsea, should they find a place for him, will be confident of getting value for the £58m they have agreed to pay