The 22-year-old has risen through the ranks at Tottenham Hotspur, but has spent nine separate loan spells away from White Hart Lane during his relatively short career to date. From Yeovil Town to Leeds United, Townsend has been there.
Such a hefty number of loan spells would perhaps suggest that a club does not have enough faith in their particular youngster, although some players take longer than others to fulfil their potential.
Townsend certainly falls in to that category. Time in the Football League with the likes of Ipswich Town and Watford may have made him more battle-hardened, but he was yet to be tested in the Premier League.
That chance arrived in January when his former boss at Spurs, Harry Redknapp, sent out an SOS. The R's were heading for the relegation trapdoor (they eventually fell through it), but the impact that Townsend made during his six months made many stand up and take notice.
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He scored with two stunning strikes against Sunderland and Aston Villa respectively, but it was his all-round play that caught the eye. Despite being left-footed, Leytonstone-born Townsend showed that he was comfortable operating on either flank.
"For me, that was the big turning point in my career. I finally got given the chance to play in the Premier League," he said of his time at Loftus Road. "Personally I feel I did very well at QPR and I have just got to take that confidence and experience on if I get given the chance this season at Spurs."
And the "chance" that he had yearned for since joining the Lilywhites back in 2000 arrived on Sunday afternoon when he was handed his first start by Andre Villas-Boas in the top flight for the club. He repaid the faith by winning the penalty that resulted in the only goal of the match being scored by Roberto Soldado.
Prior to that on Thursday evening, Townsend fired in a goal during a Europa League tie against Dinamo Tbilisi. Add to that the call-up from England boss Roy Hodgson today and the youngster's career is currently an upward trajectory.
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It will have been a more welcome phone call from the Football Association than the last one that he received from the governing body, who fined and suspended him for breaching betting regulations earlier this year.
Townsend, though, is determined to move on. "I had a rough summer but I have put that behind me. I am now even more determined to have a good season and get the doubters and the bad press off my back," he added.
"That is what I will be looking to do whenever I get the chance. I have been at this club since I was eight and I am a Tottenham fan, so my main objective is to try and force my way into the team."
With Gareth Bale seemingly Real Madrid-bound, Spurs may well end up saving themselves some money in the transfer market in the form of Townsend.