Ahmed Elmohamady fulfilled his short-term goal by earning a permanent contract at Sunderland, but did his new deal mark the beginning of a Premier League star in the making or is it the end of the road?
Burdened with his compatriots' bad reputation in the elite competition, the Egypt ace joined the Black Cats from ENPPI on a season-long loan and established himself at the Stadium of Light.
It was obvious all along that the 23-year-old went to England with an intention of settling down and carving out a distinguished career.
"I want to prove my worth at Sunderland and remain in English football for three more years at least," he said after signing for the club last summer.
Not only is he ambitious, but also turned out to be quite a fast learner.
'Naïve' Makes 'Progress'
His agility, physical presence and ability to whip in inch-perfect crosses gave him a boost , though relatively inexperienced Elmo was when he kicked off his promising adventure.
After the pacey wide man spent his first couple of months in the Premiership, Steve Bruce was full of praise for him. In the same breath, however, he branded him as 'naïve'.
Bruce believes Elmohamady is yet to achieve his full potential
"He is different. He is a frustration at times, he is a bit naïve, but he has blistering pace and he is fantastic in the air for the size of him," said the Sunderland manager in September.
"He has been a fantastic addition for us, somebody who has taken to it and is enjoying the challenges of playing in the Premier League."
By the time Elmohamady penned a permanent deal Bruce highlighted the tangible 'progress' his lad made on and off the pitch, saying there is still room for improvement for him.
"I'm delighted with the progress Ahmed has made this season so naturally we're happy to activate the option on the loan deal," Bruce said on Sunderland's official site in March.
"Ahmed still has learning to do but he has done well for us so far. He's a lovely lad with a great attitude and is an exemplary professional who is dedicated to improving his game.
"Despite his young age Ahmed is already vastly experienced at international level and people forget he's had to adapt to a completely different lifestyle and style of play.
"He's really starting to adjust to English life now and is popular in the dressing room. I think there's much more to come for him."
Elmohamady's capabilities and professional attitude have been so far noteworthy. His full potential in the Premiership is what yet to be known.
Last October, media reports said big guns Manchester United and Arsenal had kept tabs on Elmohamady for a while. Nonetheless, no solid offers were tabled.
At the time, a deal that would see the former Ghazl Mahalla prodigy move to Old Trafford or Emirates Stadium appeared to be miles away from happening.
Now after he auspiciously adapted well to the English game over the past months, what does Elmohamady lack to have Premiership heavyweights among his suitors?
"If it's money he's after then that's it for Elmohamady; he will make some good cash without promoting himself," famous sports analyst Hassan Al-Mestekawi told FilGoal.com.
"And it's not experience he needs, but the requisite will to become a high-profile player in the Premier League.
"That's what kept (Egypt captain) Ahmed Hassan 14 years abroad and what motivated Mido to keep plying his trade in Europe for a long while too.
"For instance, the likes of Didier Drogba and Samuel Eto'o don't need money; they are driven by other priorities.
"Elmohamady has to maintain consistency before considering moving to a better club ... It's hard to tell how much time he needs," Al-Mestekawi added.