Francis Coquelin could not have made his league debut for Arsenal in more difficult circumstances. He was thrown in at Old Trafford more than a year ago when the Gunners had an injury and suspension crisis, and was part of the side ruthlessly ripped apart 8-2.
It is not a game he will forget, not that he did himself any injustice, and it was not long before he was back in the starting line-up, featuring against Tottenham in the North London derby.
As a defensive midfielder, he showed a lot of potential, but he also proved his value by filling in adeptly at right-back and he gives Arsenal vital extra cover in the position considering Sagna is still out with a broken leg.
He is a player fans rate highly, and should get more opportunities over the course of this season. However he dropped a bit of a bombshell on Sunday night by suggesting he could look to leave in January if he does not get the game time he feels he is deserving of.
"I am 21-years-old, I know I cannot be patient any more. This year is the right season to make a name for myself at Arsenal.
"I have given myself six months and then I will take stock. If I see it is blocked, I will go somewhere else. But for now I know I have the qualities to make a name for myself at Arsenal."
It seems like a reasonable attitude to take, and he is hardly beating down the exit door, simply asking for a fair shout to show what he can do. With Alex Song gone, and no replacement signed, his path to the first team should be enhanced as a result.
By that same token, Coquelin is thinking that now is an essential time to make an impression, and will be increasingly frustrated if he isn't given a chance to do so.
Wenger is intelligent and will have the young Frenchman in his thoughts, and Coquelin may be one of the reasons why the manager did not sign a replacement for Song.
Having had a brief taste of first team football last season, Coquelin is clearly itching for more and feels he must move forward rather than standing still or moving backwards.
However he should be wary about being impatient and throwing away his chances at Arsenal completely. He would not be the first to make such a mistake.
Just ask Richard Wright. The goalkeeper was a highly rated young prospect who was tipped as Arsenal's next number one, but had to be patient as David Seaman came to the end of his career.
He was not patient, and insisted on a move away. He went to Everton and then fell into the lower leagues and a recent move to go and sit on Manchester City's bench does not mean his career has been a real disappointment.
Had he stayed he would have got his chance, and while Arsenal may have signed Jens Lehmann, they likely would not have bought Manuel Almunia as well if Wright had been part of the set up.
Coquelin may feel he is making the right choice if he requests a transfer, but he would be advised to be patient, as if he is good enough, his time will come eventually. A loan move would probably be his best solution if he is not getting the time on the pitch he wants, but quitting the club altogether could be a big mistake.
Would Coquelin regret it if he quit Arsenal so early in his career?
image: © Ronnie Macdonald