Southampton midfielder Callum Slattery joined Gillingham during the winter transfer window on loan and has quickly set about becoming a regular for the League One side.
A clever footballer at the base of the midfield, the Saints man has settled fast into his surroundings at Priestfield with him becoming a first-team stalwart in no time at all.
He’s started five games for the Gills so far and has only been subbed off late on in two of them, with him helping them to good wins over Accrington and Crewe, as well as draws against Sunderland and Rochdale.
Indeed, watching him play you can see he adds an extra bit of steel to the Gills’ midfield, as well as real quality on the ball in moving it up the pitch.
He provides a solid base on which Gillingham’s attackers can then look to spring from with him capable of operating in a deep midfield two or at the base of a diamond, protecting his defenders with good physicality and aggression but also then being able to pick a pass and get the Gills playing.
Certainly, early impressions are good and Saints fans will hope that this loan deal is going to be a real benefit to him as he bids to eventually challenge at Southampton.
The Saints obviously have top midfield options at the moment but they’re also always on the look-out for that next top youngster to break through into their first-team from their youth ranks, and Slattery is a candidate.
He’ll need to keep showing what he can do, of course, but he’s now getting plenty of senior minutes at a good level with him stamping his authority rather than shying away – that bodes well as he bids to make it at the top level.
The early signs, and they are early, are all there that a career playing at the highest levels could beckon.