Socceroos' Brad Smith doesn't want to leave English Premier League home Bournemouth but is ready to drop down a division for crucial game time.
The 22-year-old left back turned heads when he moved from giants Liverpool to the up-and-coming Premier League club for $10 million in the offseason.
The fee was a surprising one from a club of Bournemouth's relative stature for an unproven, albeit impressively talented defender.
The south coast club are yet to see a return on their investment given Smith has made just five appearances in the league this season.
But they see the value in their young Australian and both club and player are willing to be patient.
"When you go to a new team you have to adjust [to how] that team plays. I'm not getting as much football as I'd like," he said.
"I would have played more at Bournemouth than I would at Liverpool anyway.
"It's gone alright. Next year I think will be a big season for me. [I need to] get some more game time, get a big chance."
Socceroos coach Ange Postecoglou persisted with Smith in the current squad despite him falling foul of his "form and fitness" mantra.
With a Confederations Cup and, hopefully, a World Cup on the horizon, Smith knows he can't rely on his coach's generosity to continue far into the distance.
"For now, I'll stay at Bournemouth. I'm learning under Eddie Howe and it's going really well besides game time. I'm improving," he said.
"We spoke about [a loan] this season and he said 'definitely not'. He said 'you're part of the future' and he wants me to grow under him and learn.
"We'll reassess at the start of next season. Hopefully I'll have a good preseason after the Confeds Cup and then get a big chance ... maybe a loan move if that's what he wants me to do.
"Either way I'll be playing and if not I'll go to the Championship and get game time there."
Smith said if he did needed to move to a second-tier club, he would be in good company, given fellow Socceroos Mile Jedinak, Massimo Luongo, Bailey Wright and Aaron Mooy all ply their trade there.
"There's a few of them now, it'd be good to play against them," he laughed.