Gus Poyet's comments about Liam Bridcutt in the Daily Mail back in 2013 are starting to look rather far-fetched.
Poyet was manager of Brighton and Hove Albion at the time, where Bridcutt was one of his key players, but his statements that the central midfielder could play for Real Madrid can only be considered hyperbolic now.
"If I was coach of Real I would take him because he deserves to go to the highest level," Poyet said.
"As a holding midfielder, there is no better player in the division. So he is quite expensive.
Since that interview was conducted Poyet and Bridcutt have moved to Sunderland, but the 25-year-old has failed to impress at the Stadium of Light.
Bridcutt has looked well short of the standard required to make it at Premier League level and, therefore, the suggestion that he could have made it at Madrid seems farcical.
Although Poyet may have said the quotes in the hope that Bridcutt's confidence would be boosted, the comments are so unfounded that they have simply opened the Uruguayan up for ridicule.
It is now up to Bridcutt to protect his manager in the coming weeks, and the only way he can start to make these quotes look less absurd is to raise his own game considerably.