The pre-season form of Tom Ince is casting a warm glow over Huddersfield Town’s preparations for the Premier League season.
There was much debate about the 25-year-old frontman when it was revealed he was making the move from Derby County to the John Smith’s Stadium.
Will he fit in with David Wagner’s promotion heroes?
Does he have the work ethic to suit the gagenpressing style Town’s German head coach promotes?
Can Town justify spending £7.5m – possibly rising to £10m – on a player who has still to prove Premier League quality?
Where will he fit into the regular Town formation at top level?
Those sorts of questions were posed about the England Under 21 international and, so far, he has answered every aspect.
Having got the winner in the opening friendly at Accrington Stanley, he added another close-range finish in the win at Bury and then a smart strike against SV Sandhausen in Germany.
That goal, where he skilfully moved the ball around and away from his immediate opponent before dispatching a low left-foot drive across the keeper and into his bottom left-hand corner of the net, said everything of a young man who is focused on making his move down Leeds Road work.
Ince himself says both he and the club have a point to prove to the Premier League doubters – and he is quietly confident they can achieve good things against the odds.
He already feels the squad have the ability to score goals home and away and all his work so far suggests he is ready to play a big part in that.
Ince managed only 15 appearances for Hull City when he was there in the Premier League in the 2014-15 season, meaning he has unfinished business.
He has been presented with the opportunity to finish that business at Town and, being a good three years older than he was when he was at Hull, he is at the prime time of his career to deliver.
Ince could not have a better guiding light than Wagner to achieve what he is determined to achieve.
Wagner’s demands in training at PPG Canalside and on the pitch on a Saturday – or any other day of the week for that matter, as tends to be the case in the Premier League – make no excuse for players giving less than 100%.
That message was not only hammered home during last season’s spectacular progress to promotion via the play-offs, but it echoed around the whole of British football and Ince, along with everyone else, is fully aware of it.
Town’s coach, and his staff, will bring the very best out of Ince.
They will have already tapped into his eagerness to show off his skills and firepower and they are sure to be massaging his confidence for the big kick-off against Crystal Palace on August 12.
The squad at Town, too, are so strongly bonded and imbued with the work ethic which won promotion that they have a high group standard of their own which must be met.
All these things combined suggest Ince is in the best possible environment to produce the sort of form which took him to the Premier League in the first place.
And that can only be good for Town, the supporters and the future.