Manchester United knew what they had in their possession in Paul Pogba when the Frenchman was signed from Le Havre.
The promise that he showed at youth level wasn't a falsity, this was France's new hope for a player in the mould of the great Patrick Vieira.
When Pogba made his Premier League debut against Stoke City, coming on as a 72nd-minute substitute for Javier Hernandez, it was thought to be the beginning of something special.
Unfortunately what started off so fruitfully would end so bitterly. The ever-ambitious midfielder confronted Sir Alex Ferguson regarding the first-team opportunities after the return of Paul Scholes.
The ensuing result was a move to Italian supremos Juventus, where the precocious 20-year-old repaid the Old Lady's faith by producing a season exceeding all expectations.
It was clear that back at Old Trafford this wasn't a player Manchester United wanted to exit, but alongside Ravel Morrison and Zeki Fryers the persuasion of outside interest seemed sufficient to convince the youngsters of their moves.
It appears the Manchester club have been blessed with the chance to redeem themselves and remedy that problem. Nampalys Mendy, a highly-rated 20-year-old who made a telling impression on the landscape of Ligue 2 last season by helping guide the 2004 Champions League finalists AS Monaco back to the top tier after a humiliating relegation in 2011.
After Mendy expressed his desire to leave the principality club, a host of European teams patiently waited for their chance to pounce and snatch one of France's most highly-regarded young talents. Comparisons with some of the country's past greats in the position aren't unwarranted.
Monaco boss Claudio Ranieri showed his obvious disappointment at losing Mendy for the side's first season back in top-flight football.
"I do not understand his attitude," he said. "As soon as I saw him play, I said here is our [Claude] Makelele. I trusted him and played him. I think he will miss out on a great deal.
"But it's his life, not mine. He has preferred to listen to his brother and agent and not his coach. It's a shame."
With Manchester United plotting a move for the France U21 international, will he fill the void that was left by Pogba?
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