Manchester City have good reason to now look back on Jerome Boateng and realise he should have been persisted with.
"He is a young player who is already of a very high quality."
"I think he can continue to improve at City. He can play a number of positions in defence, which is important.
"He has proved his ability in Germany and I think he can be a very important player for Manchester City in the Premier League."
Roberto Mancini was pretty clear upon signing 21-year-old Jerome Boateng in 2010 that he was a player he rated highly.
One year later he was sold, and now he is thriving at Bayern Munich while City toil to find a regular central defensive partner for Vincent Kompany.
City had done the hard work. They had identified and signed a future star, only to prematurely give up on him after one season.
Boateng played 24 games for City, but was rarely allowed to feature in his preferred position. Roberto Mancini utilised him as a right-back, but unfortunately for the German international this was a position occupied by both Micah Richards and Pablo Zabaleta.
It was no secret that Boateng was unhappy at the situation, and wanted to play in central defence, which he cited as the reason for pushing to switch back to the Bundesliga.
Mancini even said upon his arrival that he could 'play a number of positions in defence', so rather than cede to his complaints after just a season, surely keeping him and trying him out on a regular basis alongside Kompany would have been a smart move?
City lined up against Barcelona with the much-maligned Martin Demichelis in the position, an accident waiting to happen in such a high profile encounter.
In a strong Bayern side, Boateng has a simpler life than he would have done had he signed back at Hamburg, yet he is performing admirably.
Statistics show he makes more interceptions per game at 1.6 on average than any Bayern centre-back, making more clearances per game at 3.7 than any of his teammates too.
While against Arsenal a fortnight ago he was tricked into giving away a penalty to Mesut Ozil, apart from that he didn't put a foot wrong all. He is rated by transfermarkt at £25 million, but you wouldn't catch Bayern letting him go now.
His success illustrates that City should certainly have stuck with him longer, and is perhaps another example of a failed bit of man-management from Mancini when with more care, City could have had a defensive partnership in place to last for the rest of the decade.
image: © alfonso jimenez