Calum Davenport admitted that he felt a bit like a new signing when he reported back for pre-season training in July.
Even though the central defender has been a Spurs player for nearly a year following his switch from Coventry City last August, two lengthy loan spells at West Ham and Southampton saw to it that the 22-year-old spent little time at the Lodge.
"To be honest, I did feel like that," he reflected. "Obviously I got back from the loan at West Ham and the team went on that winning streak and I wasn't really playing.
"The opportunity came for me to go to Southampton to get a bit of experience and, to be honest, that is all I can really take out of it. I thought I could maybe make a bit of a difference but it didn't turn out that way," he added, reporting that he didn't settle off the pitch at St Marys as Southampton fought an unsuccessful battle against relegation.
"Every player is different, but I was living away from my girlfriend and little'un and doing a lot of travelling. It probably unsettled me and it might have shown on the pitch at times. That is one thing I can learn, you need to be settled in your home life to produce on the pitch.
"I've got that experience under my belt and, no matter who you are, once you are down there it is very hard to get out of it."
Calum is now happy to be back and battling for a starting spot at Spurs. He will have done his cause no harm with two goals in his last two games - the friendly at Aldershot and the reserve win over Watford last week.
"To be honest, it is about time!" he laughed, before admitting he did here when the Aldershot PA man awarded his goal to Michael Dawson. "I've hit everything but the net in the last couple of seasons and it is nice to see them go in.
"I heard that they shouted out Michael Dawson, but it is one of those things. I just laughed and thought 'typical', I hadn't scored for such a while and they gave to someone else.
"I've been disappointed over the last season or so with my goal output. I do try and get in there and cause a bit of havoc and have missed a few recently.
"Since we've come back I've told myself to get my head down and focus on the football. Last year I was here, there and everywhere and wasn't really settled. I've played a few games over pre-season and have done alright. That is the main thing and if I get a chance I must take it.
Another target for Calum is simply to play a game at the Lane, but he knows the competition for places is fierce - something he views as a positive.
"I haven't played there yet! When my chance comes I want to grab it with both hands.
"It is great for the club, there is a lot of competition and hopefully us young ones can all learn off Noureddine and Ledley. We will all be fighting for position.
"When you come to training knowing you've got to fight your way into the team and others are doing the same, it can only be good for the team and yourself. It keeps you on top of your game all the time."