Shinji Kagawa was supposed to be the player Manchester United were crying out for - the heir-apparent to Paul Scholes; a player who could both score and create, as well as having the ability to both keep and pass the ball with style.
That was the player on show at his former club Borussia Dortmund, but since his arrival at Old Trafford he has rarely been given a chance to play his way to consistency.
There have been moments, and while he has sometimes looked out of place on the left, when he comes into the middle special things can and still do happen. It just seems that they will remain sporadic rather than regular occurrences as United continue to struggle their way through a disappointing season.
The Japanese international was on the bench for Sunday's 3-0 defeat to Liverpool, and while the likes of Danny Welbeck and Tom Cleverley were sent on in an attempt to change things, Kagawa remained on the side-lines.
But at least today he has something to celebrate, because it is his birthday, and to celebrate he has posted a picture of his cake on his official Instagram account.
It shows his shirt numbers for both United and Japan, along with a little Kagawa sitting atop a ball the like of which he has been unable to kick much of in competitive action this season.