Manchester United missed a trick by failing to sign Daryl Janmaat last summer, according to Newcastle United manager John Carver, who claimed the Dutch defender would've fit perfectly into Louis van Gaal's system at Old Trafford.
The Magpies head coach showered praise on the Holland international in the build-up to his side's Premier League clash against the Red Devils at St James' Park on Wednesday night, and suggested that the £5 million paid to Feyenoord for the flying full-back has been one of the best pieces of business conducted all season.
"He's a top, top player who has been outstanding for us," enthused Carver in his pre-match press conference. "He's a good defender who likes to get on the front foot and is actually second on the list of assists for full-backs behind Leighton Baines."
Janmaat has been an ever-present for Newcastle in 2014/15, making 27 Premier League appearances and contributing one goal and six assists from the right flank.
His transition from the Eredivisie to English top-flight football has been seamless and Carver intimated that the 25-year-old is talented enough to play a starring role for tonight's opponents Manchester United.
"I think Manchester United had more pressing issues to sort out [during the summer]," he added. "Van Gaal would have had his priorities.
"Let's not forget, when he came in he was talking about playing with three centre-backs. Even as a wing back, Daryl would have fitted into their system nicely."
Van Gaal's decision to overlook Janmaat for a potential move to the Theatre of Dreams seems strange when you consider how well he knows his compatriot from his time in charge of the Netherlands national team.
The Newcastle ace played every game en route to the semi-finals of the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, but the Iron Tulip opted against pursuing the right-back, choosing instead to keep faith with Antonio Valencia whilst also deploying Ashley Young in an unfamiliar wing-back position.
The 63-year-old tactician continues to be linked with a host of right-back reinforcements ahead of the summer transfer window though, so don't rule out the possibility of Janmaat coming back into consideration, particularly if he can maintain his impressive form on Tyneside between now and the end of the campaign.
Manchester United would be required to pay significantly more money for the Newcastle star's signature, though, after successfully raising his profile in the North East.
Ahead of this evening's encounter, Carver also confirmed that he'd been tapping into Janmaat and goalkeeper Tim Krul's knowledge of the Red Devils boss, having been able to provide some insight on his methods thanks to their previous meetings at international level.
"Tim and Daryl have helped with some of the organisational things," he revealed. "I'll keep private what they've said but it's been a helpful insight. If it doesn't help, they'll be fired!"
Manchester United fans: Would you like to see Daryl Janmaat move to Old Trafford? Did Louis van Gaal make a mistake not recruiting him last summer? Share your thoughts below…