Former Chelsea player Amin Affane is certainly a long way from being the breakout star that he threatened to be at the start of 2012. And while there are no guarantees that he'll ever be able to deliver on the potential that he seemingly offered, there's little doubting that he will be a big improver in 2013.
Having won the FA Youth Cup in 2012 with the Blues' under-18 team, Affane found himself on the verge of possible first-team football with the West Londoners. However, following a crazy summer transfer window that saw the Blues bring a slew of new midfielders, Affane found himself unlikely to ever get a starting spot—hence the decision to leave on loan to Eredivisie side Roda JC.
Yet not even that went well for him, with his attitude and behavior forcing Roda to cut his loan spell short and send him back to Chelsea—who then decided to let him leave.
Affane was picked up earlier this transfer window by 2. Bundesliga side Energie Cottbus, and while it's unusual to suggest that such a player could be a breakout star in the next few years, the Swedish international is perhaps the exception to that rule.
The 19-year-old definitely has the talent to succeed in Germany, and given how far he's fallen, he will no doubt see just how important it is to bring his attitude in check.
If he can deal with those personal demons, then he should thrive at Energie Cottbus and potentially even earn himself either promotion or a transfer next season into first division German football. And with the reputation of the Bundesliga over the past few seasons thanks to Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund, that could well be enough to bring the spotlight back on Affane once again.
It's a long process, but certainly one that could happen for a talent like Affane.