Everton fans the world over will have walked to work with a spring in their step this morning after it was reported that 20-year-old rising star Ross Barkley has signed a four-year deal.
However, supporters of rival clubs, not to mention a few cynical Toffees, may have stifled a smirk at the dubious likelihood of the Wavertree native playing out his new contract at Goodison Park.
The path of previous prime Evertonian produce would seem to concur with the realists.
Jack Rodwell moved on to Manchester City two seasons after signing a five-year contract extension while Wayne Rooney joined Manchester United a 17 months after Everton had made him one highest-paid teenagers in the footballing world.
Yet the bwin forecasters make it a lengthy 11/4 outsider that Barkley has departed the place of his footballing education by the close of the summer window in 2016.
That the Everton man is as short as 1/4 to still be at Goodison Park in two seasons time is undoubtedly partly down to his speech at the press conference which announced the inking of his new contract.
His deep affinity for the Toffees cause was evident when reminiscing about the day that Rooney left the club back in 2004:
‘I realise the importance of signing because I remember how I felt when Wayne (Rooney) left.
‘He was one of the best players in the team and we thought we could push on with him at Everton. When he left we were all down as Evertonians.’
It was a thoughtful reflection for such a young man and reflected upon a perspective gained over a career with far more twists and turns than Rooney’s had at a similar juncture.
Barkley has already come back from a double leg-break so bad that it was initially thought he may never play football again, as well as spending a season on loan at the Championship’s hard knocks school.
Having got but a single campaign of regular first-team Premier League football under his belt so far, it seems unlikely that the England international will be turning his back on the side that have stuck by him throughout his recovery in the near future.