Chelsea scout and Roman Abramovich's adviser Piet de Visser has told Het Laatste Nieuws that he urged the Blues to sign Tottenham midfielder Mousa Dembele.
Dembele, 28, has been the driving force of Tottenham's midfield this season, providing power and energy through the middle of the pitch, whilst also forming an effective defensive block in front of the back four alongside Eric Dier.
The Belgian international has finally established himself as a key first-team player at White Hart Lane, having previously been one of Tottenham's most inconsistent players ever since his 2012 move from London rivals Fulham.
Now under the tutelage of Mauricio Pochettino, Dembele has fulfilled his potential that he showed with Fulham - and some have been fans of him even well before his move to Spurs.
Chelsea scout Piet de Visser has been a long-term adviser to Blues owner Roman Abramovich, and has been credited with unearthing talents like Arjen Robben, John Obi Mikel and Salomon Kalou.
Now, the Dutchman has told Belgian newspaper Het Laatste Nieuws that he initially fell in love with midfielder Dembele during the 2008 Olympics, where the then-AZ Alkmaar star turned out for Belgium.
De Visser has admitted that he thinks Dembele is 'world class', but only now is he being player in his right position, as a central midfielder, where he can show off his work rate, strength and passing.
The 81-year-old also claims that he has urged Chelsea to sign him previously, but nobody else would agree with him in his valuation of Dembele - yet now, he would probably walk into the Blues side!
"I fell in love with Mousa Dembele during the 2008 Olympics," said De Visser. "He's a world class player, but they have often played him out of position. He's not a striker or a second striker, not even a number 10. He's at his best as a central midfielder, as an '8'. He will never score 15 goals in a season, but he has a high work rate, a strong body and an excellent passing game. He's an all-rounder.Somebody with power, technique and stamina."
"I've often advised Chelsea to sign him, but other scouts and managers weren't convinced. They didn't see what I saw in him. After a while I started thinking: 'Am I crazy? Why can't anyone see it?' With Fulham against Chelsea he once completely out played Lampard." he added.
Did Chelsea make a mistake not signing Dembele?