When Tottenham Hotspur signed Gareth Bale from Southampton for an initial £5million they would have had no idea what would happen just a few years later.
Even with the fee rising to £10million after add-ons, that piece of transfer business may just go down as the canniest of all time – surpassing even the £12.24million deal that saw Cristiano Ronaldo swap Sporting Lisbon for Manchester United.
Bale is now long-gone, and Tottenham saw last season that it is going to be very different without him. But that was always going to be the case when a player who warrants a world-record transfer fee departs.
The question now is: Can Spurs do it again, bringing in a young player who has the potential to become one of Europe’s best?
Some will argue they already have, signing Christian Eriksen from Ajax for a bargain £11million. But Tottenham have now been linked with another young player who could fill Bale’s position on the left-wing, and potentially have a similar impact at White Hart Lane if he lives up to his considerable potential.
That player is Memphis Depay, the £17million-rated PSV Eindhoven winger who is reportedly attracting the interest of Daniel Levy’s club.
At just 20, big things are expected of the Dutch international who netted the winning goal against Australia in Holland’s most recent match in Brazil.
Depay is a right-footed player who operates predominately from the left flank, although he can also play on the opposite side when required.
Last season for PSV he scored 14 goals and provided 10 assists in 43 appearances, averaging a goal every 261 minutes. In the Eredivisie, that dropped to a goal every 225 minutes.
While those figures may not set the heart racing, Depay is still only 20, and yet is already showing the promise that has excited many Dutch observers.
It may be too soon to hail him as the next Bale, or the next anyone else for that matter. But if Spurs sign the young attacker there is little question they will have another gem on their hands, and under Pochettino, he could shine.