A decade ago, Swansea City were plying their trade in the fourth division of English football – not having experienced the top flight since the early 1980s.
But 10 whirlwind years later, recognised internationals are streaming into the club, including the likes of those fresh off of a World Cup finals run.
Federico Fernandez made four appearances for Alejandro Sabella’s Argentina side as they fell agonizingly short of becoming world champions in Brazil over the summer.
The 25-year-old was on Napoli’s books at the time but just over a month later arrived at the Liberty Stadium, brought in by boss Garry Monk and company for a reported £8 million - which is already looking a bargain.
The Partenopei decided to part ways with the Argentine three years on from taking him to Europe in 2011, having loaned him out to Getafe for six months in 2013.
Fernandez said that he made the proper choice moving on to South Wales – where he’s become a regular at centre-back for the Swans since making his league debut in September.
He told gianlucadimarzio.com: “We knew right away that it would be a definitive farewell, it was a good opportunity, both for me and for Napoli. It wasn’t easy, we reflected together. But I think that it was the right decision, not only for me.”
As Fernandez has settled into his new surroundings quickly with Swansea, so has Napoli new boy Kalidou Koulibaly – the Argentine’s replacement in southern Italy.
The Belgian has played every minute on offer in Serie A thus far and impressed, while veteran central defence partner Raul Albiol hasn’t looked up to par.
Koulibaly arrived prior to Fernandez’s departure and the latter says he isn’t surprised the 23-year-old is flourishing at the San Paolo.
“Yes, we met at Dimaro for the first time and I spent some time with him. He immediately seemed a good player to me, but especially a good guy," he said. “I’m happy that he’s doing well, but I expected that. You could see that he was very strong.”
Perhaps Napoli would have been better off keeping Fernandez around, but that’s a decision the Partenopei already decided against making.
The Argentine is already well on his way at Swansea, with his former employers well in the rearview mirror, even if moving on was difficult at the time.
Fernandez has already won plaudits from Monk for his quick adaptation to English football, with his signing looking to be one that the Swans certainly got right over the summer.