Many say the only way is down after leaving Manchester United, but Tottenham left-back Zeki Fryers believes his departure was a step in the right direction.
Having come through the Old Trafford academy, the full-back refused to sign a long-term contract with the club, allowing Spurs to step in.
However, having failed to agree a compensation package, the anticipated deal failed to materialise and Fryers, free to sign for any club in Europe for no fee, subsequently joined Belgian outfit Standard Liege on a two-year deal in August 2012.
Just four months later, though, the 21-year-old moved on to Spurs, leading Sir Alex Ferguson to call for the Premier League to block Fryers' move and launch a full investigation into his departure from Standard Liege.
It is an incident Fryers was keen to avoid ahead of potentially trotting out at Old Trafford on New Year's Day, preferring instead to focus on the future.
"I wanted a new adventure, really," he said.
"There were certain things there that didn't fall my way and I thought it was time to move on.
"I left some friends there, some of them are doing well now. That's football, really.
"I wanted to go abroad to further my career because most foreign players come to England to play, but it's rare that English people go abroad to play.
"So I thought I was going to go and try something new, for me. I enjoyed it, it was a great experience.
"And then come January there were a few options. Spurs were one of the best teams to go to so I thought I could further my career here, working with the coaches.
"A lot of people say that when you do leave Man U you go down, but for me, personally, I feel like I've gone up, in terms of development."
Asked about upsetting Ferguson, he said: "There were always going to be accusations, obviously.
"But with me finishing in Belgium, I spoke with my agent, we looked at the teams, and Spurs was the best for my improvement and development because of the staff there, like Tim Sherwood, Chris Ramsey and Les Ferdinand."
The aforementioned trio are now in charge of first-team affairs at Spurs, who they led to runners-up spot in the Barclays Under-21 Premier League final last season.
Fryers was part of that side but has become an increasingly important member of the first-team squad this term, making his full Premier League debut in Sunday's 3-0 defeat of Stoke.
The full-back heaped praise on Sherwood after his debut, especially highlighting the new boss' man management skills, and hopes to make his second top-flight start at Old Trafford, where he could start 2014 by proving a point to the naysayers.
"Obviously that would cross your mind, that you want to start, especially against big teams like Man United," Fryers added.
"With Danny Rose being number one, anything can happen, but I'd love to start against my old club."