It may be upsetting for Southampton fans to read depending on their viewpoint, but Luke Shaw nor Adam Lallana are strong enough in quality to reclaim a Premier League title for Manchester United after surrendering their crown to Liverpool, Manchester City or Chelsea this season.
On the other hand, they may find solace in that fact. If these two players are not United quality, they may end up remaining on the South Coast.
Talented, yes, terrific for Southampton, yes, but while they may be able to take one step up, to compete effectively for clubs like Everton, United would end up being a jump in quality that is too far.
In a recent speculative talkSPORT article, Shaw and Lallana were highlighted as two players who could be the subject of a combined £50m bid from David Moyes in the summer. They are not the only publication/website to make the link, as The Express also suggested the dual transfer just last month.
If Shaw and Lallana ended up at Old Trafford, they would not increase the overall quality of the unit but, rather, bring it down, much like players like Mikel Arteta has at Arsenal.
Seems harsh? It shouldn't. Arteta is a talented player. You have to be tremendously blessed to make the grade at any Premier League outfit, but instead of elevating Arsenal to a place they had not been for years, Arteta has proven to be precisely the player he was at Everton - top four to six capability rather than an asset who will win you the title.
Wenger sold his last Invincible in 2009 when he allowed Manchester City to purchase Kolo Toure. That historic team was littered with elite-level talent… a true footballing soldier in every role and each player was in the conversation to be the top five in the world in his position.
While Aaron Ramsey has shown signs of becoming the box-to-box player Arsenal have missed since Patrick Vieira, the Gunners do not have a Dennis Bergkamp, or a Robert Pires, a Thierry Henry or a Gilberto Silva.
Arsenal have few talents now who would be in that conversation as one of the best in their position. Mesut Ozil, Ramsey perhaps now maybe more so in 12 months, one could argue Laurent Koscielny, yet there is where it would stop.
Manchester United have Juan Mata, Wayne Rooney and Robin van Persie, yet if they bought Shaw and Lallana they would still just have a trident of top quality talents.
If Moyes wants United to re-emerge as a true title challenger, he must raise his standards in the transfer market, otherwise the club's fans may have to lower their own expectations of where they will rank in Premier League tables of the future.