A year ago, Steven Davis sat on the bench at Turf Moor as Aston Villa made an embarrassingly early exit from the League Cup.
Tonight, Davis is likely to be one of the first names that David O'Leary will write on the teamsheet to face the same opposition at the same stage of the same competition.
It is quite a contrast from the days, not so long ago, when O'Leary was dropping broad hints that he did not rate highly enough any of the young players he had inherited at Villa Park.
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The jury remains out on one or two of Villa's young hopefuls, but at least O'Leary now appears to have, in Davis, something close to the finished article.
Aaron Hughes, who plays with Davis for Villa and Northern Ireland, is not the only one to describe the 20-year-old from Ballymena in the highest terms.
Hughes said: "Steven is one of the best young players in the Premier League at the moment.
"He's got to be a contender for 'Young Player Of The Year'.
"He's even better when you take into consideration his age as well. If anything, he is only going to mature in that position and get better."
After being introduced gradually by O'Leary, with five appearances from the bench, Davis finally made his first start alongside Gavin McCann in central midfield against Tottenham Hotspur at Villa Park late last November. It was a game which Villa won 1-0 with Nolberto Solano getting the vital goal.
And Davis's progress and consistency in the 11 months since has been extraordinary for one so young.
Thanks initially to McCann's long absence with his knee problem, Davis has barely missed a game and has now even added another facet to his game by scoring goals - for club and country.
He is Villa's top scorer this term with four goals, two of which came in the last round of the League Cup at Wycombe last month. And he was again one of Villa's few bright spots on Saturday against Wigan.
"I am not surprised how well he has done," said Hughes. "He doesn't think about it. He just does what comes naturally.
"Off the pitch he is a quiet lad. But he just comes in, gets on with his job and that is why he is doing so well. It shows the faith the gaffer has in him and what sort of influence he has on the team that the gaffer has seen no reason to leave him out."
Hughes, who did not join Villa until this summer, got his first look at Davis a year ago when, despite the young midfielder having not then started a first team game, he was selected in the Northern Ireland squad for their World Cup qualifier in Azerbaijan.
"He didn't play," Hughes said. "But, even in training, you could tell there was something about the kid and it was only a matter of time before he got his chance.
"One of the most impressive things was his debut [for Nothern Ireland] when we lost 4-0 at Old Trafford. We were already 3-0 down when he came on as sub and they scored again immediately.
"But straight away you could see we had someone who could keep the ball and give us a bit of breathing space.
"Up until then it was like the Alamo but it was good that he showed such maturity in that game."
It was a final half hour that sowed the seeds for Davis, Hughes and co turning the tables in such impressive style to beat England at Windsor Park six months later.
"We said exactly the same things at half-time as we said at Old Trafford when we were 0-0 and threw it away at the start of the second half. This time was a bit different and Davo played a big part in our goal as well.
"He then got his first international goal against Wales, he's scoring a few here and, if he can keep that up, it will be great for both of us."
Hughes, alas, will not make the Villa starting line-up tonight. He suffered a recurrence of his hernia problem during the match at home to Wigan Athletic last Saturday.
It added to a miserable day for Hughes. He scored an own goal and Villa lost 2-0.
This opens the way for Mark Delaney, the Wales international defender, who is now fully recovered from summer knee surgery.
David O'Leary said: "Aaron wasn't quite right during and after Saturday's game, so he's going to sit out the Burnley game.
"As a precaution we're sending him to see a specialist in the next couple of days, just to make sure there's no serious problem. Mark will come into the side and fortunately he's now fully recovered."