The biggest mistake of Manchester United's summer wasn't just Marouane Fellaini, it was the months leading up to that overpriced deal.
United spent a month attempting to lure Cesc Fabregas away from Barcelona, when it had always appeared to be a non-starter, one they should have been able to tell after just one day that it was a waste of time.
David Moyes made three official bids for the former Arsenal player, with the largest at £40 million.
Fabregas had been adjudged to be at a crossroads in his Barcelona career after receiving criticism from a section of fans at the club last season, but pledged his commitment to the La Liga title holders.
While United never secured a high-calibre alternative, and flounder in domestic competition, sitting seventh - Barcelona and Fabregas are flying high.
The 26-year-old is enjoying his best season to date in Spain, recording 10 assists already.
That's more by this point than he ever has at this point in any season since rejoining Barcelona, and only one off his best ever - 11 - recorded last season.
Fabregas also has scored nine goals, just two shy of the 11 he bagged across the whole of last season.
He is on course to record his best ever figures, which came during the 2009/10 Arsenal season when he scored 15 times and provided 13 assists.
His form has seen any doubters in Spain move into the shadows, stepping up and helping Barcelona get through a period without star man Lionel Messi.
It has been credited in part to new manager Tata Martino, with Fabregas adapting to his methods better than any other, showing itself in the results on the pitch.
He's made the £40 million Barcelona rejected for him look like small change, and David Moyes can sit there and only wonder 'what if?'
image: © ins11thiago