Victor Anichebe is hoping his recent string of cameos prove to be the start of a path that will culminate in him becoming a leading man.
This season the academy product came back from a serious groin injury to once again carve out a reputation as a fearsome substitute.
David Moyes has gone to great lengths to protect the 24-year-old by using him sparingly in a bid to top up his fitness and resilience incrementally.
That has largely meant the bench. But there have been five goals when stepping off it since Christmas and plenty of cause for optimism for the Nigerian international.
“I've been pleased to score a few goals,” he told evertontv. “Considering the amount of appearances I've made I think it's a good return. Further on I'll want to play more games – play from the start and stay injury free.
“I can't really ask too much more. I think I've done okay this year since I've come back. I expect more of myself next year. Hopefully I can apply myself and do better.”
The majority of Anichebe’s recent opportunities have come as a wide attacking player – a position he is happy to play. He does, however, see his long-term future playing through the middle.
“I see myself as a forward,” he explained. “I don't know if it's going to be a number nine, in behind or just drifting – I don't really mind to be honest. I've played on the right, I've played on the left, behind the striker and up front. As long as you're helping the team you can't really complain, but I do see myself going back up front at some point so we'll see how that works out.”
Alongside his progress with Everton, Anichebe has won 11 international caps for Nigeria. His international adventure started with a call-up for the Olympics four years ago and he admits to being excited about the games coming to London this summer.
“I'd always watched the Olympics when I was younger and it is always an amazing thing,” said Anichebe, who helped the Super Eagles win the silver medal in Beijing. “When I had the opportunity to go - I think it was my first call-up - it was really good. Just going around the Olympic village as well, you saw all kinds of different people in different sports. I met Usain Bolt and Andy Murray. It was a great feeling and something that I'm really proud of.
“The Olympic village alone is a really special place - seeing loads of different people in different sports. You'd see women’s football teams, long jump, high jump, triple jump; all kinds of different athletes. We were with the Argentine team as well. They had a really, really strong team - (Lionel) Messi, (Sergio) Aguero, (Javier) Mascherano were there. They won it in the end as they had an unbelievable team. I think that was the best part of it more than anything - just being around all the different kinds of people and different sports, not just football.
“It hasn't really sunk in (that I was involved),” he added. “Maybe when I'm older I will appreciate it a lot more as I look at the build-up on TV of Olympians in the past and how proud they are. I'm really proud representing my country, I just don't think it's sunk in too much the fact that we got a silver medal. It is amazing but I'll understand a bit more when I'm older.”