A dream £5 million transfer to former European Cup winners Aston Villa, quickly turned into a nightmare for talented midfielder Aaron Tshibola.
In a compelling interview with The Sun, the 25-year-old who now plays in the Portuguese second tier has questioned Steve Bruce and his inability to hand youngsters a chance.
Tshibola spent three years at Villa Park before being sold to Belgian outfit Waasland-Beveren in August.
His time there lasted just six months and he signed for Deportivo Aves during the winter transfer window.
The defensive midfielder won’t live long in the memory of Villa supporters. He made just 10 appearances for the club and endured frustrating loan spells with MK Dons and Nottingham Forest.
He did manage to get plenty of football under his belt at Kilmarnock before he was offloaded permanently.
Tshibola has hinted that current Newcastle boss Bruce wasn’t right for his development.
He told The Sun: “He was very authoritative, confident, aggressive. He wanted things his way.
“I feel like, if you look at a lot of his teams, they gain promotion but you won’t see many young players.
I wanted to play, I deserved to play and believed in my ability and wanted to be a star even though I was so young. For me, I was thinking the club had invested in me but I never got a fair opportunity.
“As a young player you think (Bruce) isn’t really approachable and he hadn’t really spoken to me. I was literally alone and I just tried to work hard in training. Of course, I was upset.”
Tshibola had played eight games for his new club and will now hope to revive his career.
At Reading, it seemed as though he was destined for big things but the midfielder clearly shows an element of resent towards Bruce.
Proving him wrong will obviously be on his mind.
In hindsight, Bruce might have wished he had utilised some of the club’s younger players a bit more.
Although he reached the Championship Play-Off Final during his first season in charge, he was sacked relatively early on during his second campaign at Villa Park.
Had he given more opportunities to more players like Tshibola, supporters might have been more forgiving towards Bruce prior to his departure.