For Tottenham Hotspur winger Georges-Kevin Nkoudou, there was a brief glimmer of hope for his career in north London in January.
It was late on during Spurs’ match with Fulham at Craven Cottage, and the scores were tied at one apiece. The away side needed to win the match to keep up their pursuit of a Champions League spot, and with Mauricio Pochettino desperate for goals, he threw on Nkoudou as a late sub with less than five minutes to go.
With moments to spare in normal time, the 24-year-old whipped in a delicious floated cross from the left wing which Harry Winks nodded home from close range. It clinched a crucial Spurs win and led to wild celebrations in the away end.
In the end, the moment was a false dawn. Nkoudou was shipped out on loan to Monaco weeks later, and that five-minute cameo against Fulham was his only appearance of the entire Premier League season.
In Ligue 1, the French winger played just three matches for Monaco — all substitute appearances of 15 minutes or less — before succumbing to a hamstring injury that ruled him out for the rest of the campaign.
The 2018/19 campaign has been a frustrating one for Nkoudou, with the 24-year-old playing just six matches all year. He appeared once in the League Cup, once in the FA Cup, once in the Premier League, and three times in Ligue 1 — with a total of one assist and no goals.
Signed with such promise in 2016 from Marseille, his Tottenham career is surely over after a torrid season that will leave him looking for new opportunities this summer.