Louis van Gaal has admitted he was unsure about the ability of David de Gea when he first became Manchester United manager.
The Dutchman arrived at Old Trafford last summer and went about evaluating his entire squad during a pre-season tour of the USA.
Players like Ashley Young managed to work their way back into the first-team while others, like Nani and Javier Hernandez, were shifted out on loan.
A similar fate may well have befallen De Gea, who did not manage to convince Van Gaal that he was as a good a goalkeeper as Manchester United should have.
Van Gaal told The Times: "He has made very good development this year because in the beginning I was not so sure of him.
"But now he is fantastic and has saved us a lot of times."
A ridiculous opinion
Such an opinion seems ridiculous in hindsight as the Red Devils are now throwing incredible amounts of money at De Gea to try and get him to stay.
With just 12 months left on his contract and Real Madrid circling, the Spain international could conceivably force a transfer this summer and leave Manchester United without their best performing player of the last season.
Manchester United have offered him a deal worth £250,000-a-week to stay at Old Trafford, but it seems that no amount of money will convince him to stay.
Van Gaal will be kicking himself as there is every chance that De Gea would have signed a much smaller contract had he been offered it this time last year.
However, the former Holland head coach now looks set to pay for his lack of faith in the Premier League's most expensive goalkeeper.
Destined to leave
De Gea may have seen the refusal to offer him a new deal as a distinct lack of faith and decided that, should the offer to move back to Madrid come along, he would take it.
The 24-year-old was born and raised in Madrid and came through the youth system at Real's close rivals Atletico. A chance to move back home, where his girlfriend still resides, to play for the best team in the world seems an offer too good to turn down.
Is it Louis van Gaal's fault that David de Gea is leaving?
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