A lot has changed in 11 months for Sam Hughes.
When the now 21-year-old centre back left Chester FC for 2015-2016 Premier League champions Leicester City in June of last year for a fee in the region of £130,000 it was big news for the Blues but caused barely a ripple at the King Power Stadium.
Hughes, a product of Chester's academy, had shown his class against senior players in the National League during his time with the Blues, playing 64 times and netting eight goals, as well as becoming the club's youngest ever captain at the age of 19.
Chester fans knew he was destined for bigger and better things.
But he headed to Leicester as an unknown quantity and has had to work hard to make a mark and prove his worth. And all that endeavour and commitment has paid off as the Foxes under-23s, under the stewardship of manager Steve Beaglehole, finished third in the Premier League 2 Division One in his first season, with Hughes ending the campaign as Leicester's top scorer with 12 goals as well as captaining the side. Not a bad way to start.
His form has not gone unnoticed.
Hughes got his first call to a Premier League senior squad on Saturday and was an unused substitute in the 2-0 home defeat to West Ham United.
And Hughes could yet see Premier League action before the season is out, with under-pressure Foxes boss Claude Puel facing an injury crisis ahead of tonight's home encounter with Arsenal.
Hughes' star is in the ascendancy and we caught up with James Sharpe, Leicester City correspondent for the Leicester Mercury, to find out just how the defender is viewed at the King Power Stadium.
Sharpe said: "Puel has not mentioned him by name, but he is constantly going on about how important it is to him to bring through youth players. He's already given extended game-time to Hamza Choudhury, Ben Chilwell, Demarai Gray etc. So, if Leicester stick with Puel he's got a chance of coming through.
"Hughes has absolutely torn it up for the development squad. He's their leading scorer from centre-back. From chatting to people at the club, it is like watching a man playing with kids. I guess that's a byproduct of his grounding in men's football.
"A lot depends, I think, on what happens in the summer. Robert Huth is out of contract at the end of the season and is unlikely to be offered a new one. So he will go. Wes Morgan's body is catching up with him and he's only likely to be playing a bit-part role next season. So, that shoves Hughes up the pecking order a bit. But then it comes down to a) who they sign in the summer and b) who is in charge.
"There is already plenty of talk that City will try to sign Jonny Evans, certainly if West Brom go down and Leicester can get him for a cut-price fee.
"Then there's Aleksandar Dragovic. He's been on loan this season, but not played as much as he would have liked. Leicester have the option to buy him in the summer, but there is talk that he is not keen to do so if Puel is still in charge.
"If Puel remains in charge, he is likely to want to keep bringing youth through. And Hughes would fall into that. He's been on the bench now, and is likely to be so again between now and the end of the season. Leicester do also have another young centre-back called Elliott Moore on loan at sister club Leuven in Belgian second division (owned by same owners). So there's him to consider as well. There's always the chance otherwise that Hughes could get sent out on loan next season too, depending on who is there and who has been signed. Hughes has impressed considerably though."
Chester could benefit considerably down the line from Hughes' success.
Numerous sell-on clauses are included in the original deal, including a sell-on fee clause and a potential fee if Hughes ever pulls on an England shirt in the future.
Chester could benefit financially in the near future should Hughes make his senior Foxes bow, with the Blues entitled to a modest sum should the defender play a certain amount of minutes.