At Manchester United throughout the years, plenty of highly talented young players have come through the system, and plenty of others have been churned out.
Most end up on football’s scrapheap, others, like Frazier Campbell proved yesterday, make a fist of it elsewhere while the rest go on to be regrets for United - but these are few and far between.
But one player who you could argue they might have once regretted letting go would have to be Italian international Giuseppe Rossi.
The young forward had impressed at United and on loan spells with Newcastle and Parma - but in the summer of 2007 he was sold to Villarreal for £6.6 million.
A year later he was one of Europe’s most in form strikers, and a regular in the Italian national team.
In 2010-11 he was sensational, scoring 32 goals in 56 appearances, and for 2011-12 it appeared that the career of the then 23-year-old from Teaneck, New Jersey was going in one direction.
Then, it all went wrong.
On the 26th October 2011 Rossi tore his anterior cruciate ligament in a game against Real Madrid and he was out for six months, in April 2012 he did the same injury and his career looked in tatters.
But despite only playing a handful of games in the past 18 months he was still revered in Italy as one of their great attacking hopes - and Fiorentina remembered that.
They took a risk, and in January splashed out €10 million on the signature of the 27 caps Italian international - despite the fact he was still recovering from his serious injury.
But this Monday, while his former team United face Chelsea, he will embark on his first full season since the 2010-11 campaign - when Fiorentina get their Serie A season off to a start against Catania in Florence.
And he is in ambitious spirit ahead of the new campaign:
“It will be a very balanced championship this term. I’m sure it will be an interesting season. It won’t just be Juventus, Inter and Milan who will be going for the Scudetto. Fiorentina, Napoli and Roma have built strong sides who can beat each other in direct games. That’s why I believe that we will be in a position to compete for the title right until the very end.”
With Adem Ljajic’s ongoing contract dispute Rossi is almost ensured of a start alongside fellow new boy Mario Gomez tonight.
And I don’t think any football fan would begrudge him a goal or two tonight.
image: © farenetwork