In two years and two-and-a-bit months, Ademola Lookman has played the full 90 minutes for his club just eight times.
And that has been in a variety of competitions, under different managers – and in two countries as well.
Where it matters most, in the Premier League, the 21-year-old has only started, and finished, a game on two occasions – and both have come this season, under Marco Silva.
Believe it or not, the Portuguese coach has more faith in Lookman than any other Blues manager the winger has played for. Even in his half season at RB Leipzig, seen as a major success, he only played the duration twice in the Bundesliga.
Yet Lookman could be forgiven for struggling to reconcile Silva’s belief in him with his place on the periphery, while his in-and-out season continues to confuse supporters.
On the one hand, he appears to now have the consistency he’s craved with a manager who values him but, on the other, he still lacks the stability his career needs.
It’s a real head-scratcher.
Both publicly and privately, Silva has been nothing but consistent in declaring his belief in the player and became irritated by the constant questions over Lookman’s future in the summer but, equally, he has not been scared to leave him out of matchday squads, never mind the matchday XI.
Director of football Marcel Brands, too, believes in a player he wanted to sign when at the PSV Eindhoven helm, yet both will recognise that the young attacker continues to tread water at Goodison.
Why is this?
The club has faith in the player but finding a way to translate that into him making more league starts, and playing more 90 minutes – and being a first-team regular – is proving far from straightforward.
If the summer’s questions were a headache for Silva, getting the best out of Lookman is even more challenging.
A run of games?
You had to feel for the winger last weekend.
Brought on immediately after Newcastle had equalised at St James’ Park, Lookman had eight minutes to try and help create a winner.
With the clock ticking, that task quickly changed into finding an equaliser as Everton went behind to an offside goal.
Lookman has been brought on 13 times in the league for a total of 355 minutes this season and in six of those games, the Blues were trailing.
His performance off the bench at Manchester City before Christmas was excellent, but in vain, and though the assist for Dominc Calvert-Lewin was the breakthrough Everton needed at home to Crystal Palace in October when the scores were 0-0, he often faces a difficult job in altering the face of the game in limited time.
Silva may argue that he has to take the chances he is given and prove he can make a difference in however long he has on the pitch (less than 20 minutes on seven occasions); others would say the winger needs a run of selections to truly find his form.
His only back-to-back starts came in January when he played the full 90 minutes against Bournemouth (registering an assist) and, then, Southampton and as the Blues’ season limps towards May, there is a strong case to offer Lookman a run of games between now and then.
The issue for the 21-year-old now, however, is that Silva has experimented with playing Richarlison on the right wing and while replacing Theo Walcott would look an obvious choice, taking the place of the team’s joint-top scorer is much more difficult.
Lookman has missed five league games through injury, one because Silva ruled his head wasn’t in the right place and two others, owing to the “technical decision” of the manager.
They were the two toughest home games of the season – against Manchester City and Liverpool – and the conclusion has been they were decisions made on defence.
Lookman’s defence, not the opposition’s.
What the manager does with Lookman this weekend, with Chelsea the visitors, will be fascinating.
Maurizio Sarri’s side are not as much of an attacking threat as the top two in the league, with 50 goals to their name, yet still have Eden Hazard, Willian and others who can cause problems.
A well-organised Wolves were seconds away from taking three points from Stamford Bridge last weekend before Hazard struck in time added on.
The worry for Lookman is that Silva will follow similar tactics employed against City and the Reds.
Bernard has more interceptions this season than any of the Blues’ wide-men with Lookman faring worst on this front.
Lookman also comes off worst when comparing the number of tackles he wins a game although he wins a higher percentage of, what Opta describe as, duels than Bernard or Walcott.
But maybe there are other aspects of defence – tracking back, covering and concentration – that Silva takes into consideration.
But all of this comes with the significant caveat that Lookman has made only three starts in the Premier League this season – or maybe it’s why he has been in the line-up so little?