After Juventus tried for Fernando Llorente and Robin van Persie, only to end up with Nicklas Bendtner, there was a joke doing the rounds on Twitter yesterday.
"So Juventus are linked with signing Nani and Walcott in January? I wouldn't worry, they will likely end up with Wayne Routledge instead."
In his opening games this season Wayne Routledge has scored and assisted more goals than both Walcott and Nani combined, proving that he is ready to step up and deliver on his much vaunted potential.
There was a time where he was not the butt of such jokes, back at Crystal Palace as a teenager he was tipped for the very top, impressing under Iain Dowie's management alongside top scorer Andy Johnson, providing 10 assists in his debut season in the Premier League.
When he was just 20 he pushed through a deal to join Spurs, much to the disappointment of supporters, and anger of chairman Simon Jordan, who threatened never to use Routledge's agent again.
The problem for Routledge was that in the same summer of 2005, Spurs also bought Aaron Lennon, and as a result the youngster never got a look in, and an early injury, a broken foot suffered on his debut, made it even more of an uphill battle.
He would make just five appearances for Tottenham, but did not officially leave the club until 2008. During this time he was loaned to both Fulham and Portsmouth, but he failed to score a league goal for either side, and did not truly settle.
So Aston Villa signed him at the end of the January transfer window in 2008, as he sought to rebuild his career, signing an 18 month deal for a transfer fee of £1.25 million, but he did not make his debut until April.
In November he was loaned out to Cardiff after failing to break into the Villa side, dropping down into the Championship, where he would finally get back to playing and scoring goals. Cardiff wanted to sign him permanently but Routledge rejected the move, and signed with QPR instead.
It was at the R's where he really rebuilt his career, scoring seven goals in the year he spent there. His performances were so impressive that Chris Hughton signed him for Newcastle to aid their promotion push during their year in the Championship.
The winger revelled in playing in front of the large crowds, and felt as though he was back in the big time, nailing down a first team spot, and leading them to promotion. Back in the Premier League it was a familiar story. Despite an encouraging start, Routledge found himself dropped, and when Alan Pardew took over from Hughton his chances were dealt a blow.
He made just one start for the club in 2011, and Pardew decided to loan him back to Championship side QPR. He had gone from being a Premier League starter, to being back at square one.
He did at least have some success at QPR, helping them gain promotion, his second from the division in as many years. Newcastle then put him up for sale and it was play-off winners Swansea who signed him.
Last year was a steady one at the Liberty stadium. He scored one goal and provided nine assists - the highest number in the whole squad, being alternated on the left and right wing,. Despite this he was overshadowed by Scott Sinclair, who gained many of the club's plaudits, and has since left for Manchester City.
Now after a storming start to 2012/13, it is looking as though Routledge is finally about to seize his big chance to step up.
New manager Michael Laudrup has taken a liking to him, and the winger is not looking like letting him down. With Nathan Dyer on the right, the duo are looking dangerous, and the manager's tactics have seen him drift inside more rather than hugging the touchline.
It has paid dividends, with Routledge scoring one goal, and providing three assists in Swansea' opening three games, being voted man of the match against West Ham.
Routledge, predominantly a right-winger, has been utilised on the left, to great effect. The signing of Pablo Hernandez, another right-sided player, will add more competition for places, so Routledge's conversion to the left will serve him well.
At 27 it is about time the player began to reach his potential. He has had a good start, and did well last season, but he needs to maintain his early season form throughout this year. If he can, who knows, he may even persuade Roy Hodgson to send his England scouts down to Swansea...
Let us know what you think, can Routledge maintain his impressive early form?
image: © joncandy