LEWIS Young may have been in the right place at the right time after earning a trial at Bury just as forwards Ashley Grimes and Jean-Louis Akpa Akpro were sidelined with injury.
And when Tope Obadeyi opted to join Plymouth Argyle on loan last week, the path opened up for the younger brother of Manchester United and England winger Ashley Young to earn a temporary contract.
But after failing to make his mark at his six previous clubs, the 24-year-old attacking midfielder has been challenged to turn his current deal, which runs until the end of the season, into a permanent stay.
“Tope wanted games – he’s got a contract situation coming up at the end of the season and Plymouth could guarantee him games, whereas we couldn’t,” explained Bury boss David Flitcroft.
“Lewis came to us and played against Blackburn (in the reserves) and he’s a kid who, at the minute deserves a chance.
“So we will get him in the system and try to see if he can be an impact sub for us.”
Young, who started his career as a trainee at Watford, has had brief spells at Burton Albion, Northampton Town and Yeovil, and played at non-league sides Hereford and Forest Green on loan.
He joined as a free agent after being released by Conference side Aldershot, but after failing to muster a goal or more than 20 starts at any of his previous clubs, he will have to improve if he is force his way into the Bury reckoning.
But Flitcroft believes his signing was a risk worth taking.
“As a permanent, it was a good opportunity,” he said.
“He has the chance to earn a contract, and if he does that brilliant. If he doesn’t then there is nothing lost.
“But when a game is tight he could maybe make a bit of a difference.”
It is possible Young’s inclusion in the first team was only sealed after a loan deal for a more established forward fell through.
With Akpa Akpro on a season-long loan from Tranmere but facing at least three weeks on the sidelines with a hamstring strain, Flitcroft admitted he could have brought in a sixth loan signing without leaving himself a selection headache.
“I think that is probably it for us now,” he said.
“We had a snip at one (loan deal) but it wasn’t right, so we have put that one to bed.”