If you were to ask football fans to describe Jermaine Pennant’s football career in one word, you’d almost certainly hear adjectives such as ‘disappointing’ and ‘underwhelming’ used.
The 35-year-old was widely regarded as one of English football’s brightest young talents during the late 1990s.
Indeed, Pennant set the record for the highest fee commanded for a trainee back in 1999 when Arsenal signed the then 15-year-old from Notts County for £2 million.
The former England Under-21 international hasn’t had a bad career by any means; he’s played for a host of clubs including, most notably, Liverpool.
He even started for the Reds in the 2007 Champions League final against AC Milan.
But there will always be a feeling that Pennant could - and probably should - have achieved more with the talent he possessed at such a young age.
Could I have worked harder? Was my attitude right? Did I make the most of my opportunities?
These are all questions that Pennant will, unfortunately, ask himself on a regular basis when he finally hangs up his boots.
The Nottingham-born winger hasn’t played in the Premier League since leaving Stoke City in 2014.
Since then, he’s played for Pune City in the Indian Super League, Wigan Athletic, Tampines Rovers over in Singapore, and Bury.
Pennant signed for Billericay Town in August
He then made headlines last year by signing for Billericay Town, who currently ply their trade in the Isthmian League Premier Division - the seventh tier of English football.
Pennant was reportedly on a £3,000-a-week deal at Billericay - a remarkable amount of money, given the club’s status - and had turned down the opportunity to sign for Hibernian in the Scottish Premier League.
"Jermaine will be a great signing and will help us get to where we want to go,” Glenn Tamplin, Billericay’s owner, said at the time.
"We all know he is a top player. He is good mates with Jamie O'Hara and when he heard about what we are doing, he let it know he wanted to come here.
"Jermaine's ability will make us even stronger and his experience will help our younger players reach the next level.”
Pennant's career has just hit a new low
Six months on from those comments, however, and it’s fair to say that things haven’t exactly worked out.
Following an underwhelming start to life at the New Lodge, Pennant opted to leave the club in December.
However, 24 hours later, he went back on his decision and agreed to take a pay cut in order to re-sign for the non-league outfit.
Pennant hasn’t featured for the club since January 16 while head coach Harry Wheeler, per the Mirror, revealed earlier this week that the player has some “issues to resolve”.
And this morning Billericay announced via their official Twitter account that Pennant has now left the club.
What a disastrous move that was.
We’d be surprised if this wasn’t the end of Pennant’s topsy-turvy football career.
Released by a club in the seventh tier of English football, where on earth does he go from here?
There are few things sadder in football than wasted talent - and Pennant’s story is arguably one of the saddest cases of all.