Shinji Kagawa's arrival at Old Trafford from Bundesliga outfit Borussia Dortmund during the summer of 2012 provided a source of much excitement and unrestricted expectation at Manchester United.
Here, it appeared as if the Red Devils had acquired one of the world's elite playmakers who could provide the answer to the puzzling midfield conundrum that Sir Alex Ferguson seemingly did his best to ignore in his latter years.
However, despite the sheer excitement that surrounded the deal, things have not quite worked out as well as many might have hoped for the Japanese international.
While he showed hugely promising glimpses of potential in his first campaign in English football, he does not appear to be impressing under the tutelage of new manager David Moyes and has failed to impose himself in a variety of positions.
In my opinion, it is time for Manchester United to draw a sad but ultimately necessary metaphorical line under Kagawa's time at Old Trafford.
In their current predicament, Moyes' side simply cannot to afford carry any passengers as they look to re-assert their status as genuine title contenders.
Rather than just sell him outright to the highest bidder, however, I believe that the Red Devils should be a trifle more cunning when offloading Kagawa and attempt to offer him back to former employers Borussia Dortmund in exchange for another of their most-prized assets.
I am not referring, though, to either Marco Reus nor Ilkay Gundogan - two Dortmund stars who have indeed been linked with respective moves to United in recent weeks.
Rather, I am eluding to a potential move for Henrikh Mkhitaryan.
Armenian international Mkhitaryan - a playmaker closely tracked by Liverpool during the summer - is a truly remarkable talent who has shown his considerable worth in an extremely short period of time.
The 24-year-old - who has already won 42 senior international caps and has arguably forged a reputation as his country's finest-ever footballer - possesses excellent vision and a supreme range of passing.
Extremely versatile but unquestionably most comfortable in the traditional number 10 role, Mkhitaryan has all the qualities necessary to make a success of a move to the very top of the Premier League.
Given that Mkhitaryan only joined Dortmund from Shakhtar Donetsk for a club-record fee believed to be in the region of £23.8 million this summer, it may seem somewhat unlikely that United would be able to successful entice him away from Signal Iduna Park at such an early juncture.
However, given the sheer admiration and weight of affection that still lingers so heavily for Kagawa at Dortmund, they might just be convinced to part with him if they can land their former darling - along with significant financial compensation - in exchange.
Forget Kagawa, he has had ample chance to shine and failed to make the most of his chances at Old Trafford.
Mkhitaryan is the real deal and, should he ever sign for the Premier League champions, could be a more than adequate long-term option for United.
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