You don’t have to delve too far into the recent past to recall a Tottenham winger with pace, panache and end-product who could grab the attention of the game.
Much can happen in football in just over six weeks however, and few Spurs fans leaving the away end at Villa Park on Sunday would have been preoccupied with a Welshman in the sun.
Instead it is a new White Hart Lane wide-man with similar attributes assuming the mantle of the much-talked about.
Andros Townsend, an academy graduate hailing from Leytonstone, received little mention when Spurs manager Andre Villas-Boas talked of filling the void left by the world’s most expensive player.
Instead the Portuguese chose his expensively assembled collection of global talent as the soundbite to appease those wondering who would deliver Spurs's forward thrust.
However, with a man-of-the-match performance against Aston Villa following a sparkling introduction on the international stage, it is Townsend, the talent schooled at the club since the age of eight, rather than any expensive overseas purchase, who is rapidly laying claim to the role of Spurs’ chief attacking threat.
It wasn't until the 31st minute when Townsend, stationed on the right of the visitors’ attack, shifted the ball on to his left foot and delivered an in-swinging cross with pace and dip which crept inside Brad Guzan’s far post that Tottenham started to look at ease with themselves.
Until that point the England international, like all others in white, had been nullified by Paul Lambert’s well-organised Villa side.
But after the goal Townsend started to show the kind of forward-thinking adventure which has captured the imagination of English football.
Townsend’s intentions are almost solely attack-minded, his most valuable attributes obvious: a positive first touch which pushes the ball past opponents, searing pace to open up the pitch and an unrelenting appetite to manoeuvre the ball into positions to shoot or cross.
Nothing new for an effective wide player, you may think. It is, however, the more subtle aspects of his repertoire that have proved just as attractive to Roy Hodgson and Villas-Boas.
With the ability to receive, manoeuvre, dribble and deliver the ball with both feet, Townsend offers a multiple threat - both on the inside and outside of his opponent.
In a repeat of his international performances, Townsend regularly drove inside on to his left foot to strike at Guzan’s goal.
Similarly his willingness to drift inside allowed him to bounce the ball into the feet of centre-forward Roberto Soldado before progressing into more advanced positions to utilise his arrowed strike.
As Villa grew wise to his threat – often using midfield support to double-up on him – Townsend adapted his play, often with a double-stepover, before beating his marker, Antonio Luna, on the outside and dinking right-footed crosses into the penalty area.
Off the ball, he showed an elusiveness which allows him drift into pockets of space just off a central striker, positioning him perfectly to receive clever lay-offs or defensive knock-downs to arrow shots at goal.
Add to this developing evidence in the art of deception and you begin to form a picture of a cunning and intelligent forward operator; not just a sprinter who likes to shoot.
Players with bilateral abilities have the benefit of faking to deliver or shoot with either foot, enticing defenders to dangle a leg or turn a back, before chopping the ball onto their other foot to deliver.
In wide areas, or around congested penalty boxes where space is at a premium, it is a technique which can conjure a much-needed inch of space.
Following Townsend’s dramatic introduction to football’s top table, it is tempting to bracket the Spurs’ man as a ‘youngster’.
And at 22, it is still fair to say the attacker is in the formative period of his career. At the same time, however, this isn’t precocious young talent of early emergence in Rooney, Owen or Giggs fame.
Routes to the top level offer an interesting aside and Townsend’s footballing CV provides an important backstory.
At 18 Townsend joined Yeovil Town, then in League One. It proved to be the beginning of an extended lower league secondment: a further eight loan spells, spanning four years, with an assortment of clubs followed.
For young players who find first-team opportunities scarce, the period between 18 and 22 can be accompanied by anxiety.
If an early first-team breakthrough isn’t forthcoming players can tumble through the divisions and out of the game.
It is often a case of attitude. Here is an English talent, whose patience and hard-work has been rewarded with opportunity.
For all young players there is a choice: is a lower-league schooling considered an opportunity or a slog? Perhaps one for the Commission to consider...
Peter Glynn is the Editorial Manager at St. George's Park and editor of The Boot Room, The FA's Coaching Magazine.
Peter is a journalist and has been with The Football Association for six years and holds the UEFA B Licence and The FA Youth Awards 1 and 2.
The Future Game Tactics Column takes a weekly look at the evolution of the modern game, linking to practices from The FA's Future Game philosophy and providing advice and tips for grassroots coaches.