Manchester United’s Amad Diallo must have bemoaned his luck when his loan move collapsed this summer.
Instead of a temporary switch to Feyenoord, the young winger’s injury meant he would stay at Old Trafford.
But there is now a considerable silver lining from that blow. After all, Amad is expected back next month. And from then on, he can train with one of the best players the world has ever seen.
Cristiano Ronaldo will have plenty to teach the 19-year-old. Both arrived at United as teenage wingers full of tricks and potential.
Ronaldo burst onto the scene early and Amad will have been hoping for the same. Yet competition for places at Old Trafford means the latter will have to be patient.
The Portuguese superstar knows that much of the hard work comes on the training field. And that is where his young teammate should be focusing for now.
If Ronaldo can take the Ivorian under his wing, Amad could convince Ole Gunnar Solskjaer that he is ready now. He certainly has the innate talent.
A loan move would have been sensible for all concerned. But Amad can now make the most of an unexpected situation.
Ronaldo is the perfect teacher for a winger with the world at his feet.
Master and apprentice
United spent an initial £19million on Amad (BBC). That fee could ultimately rise to £37.2million.
The Red Devils would not have sanctioned such a move if they didn’t have very high hopes for Amad.
A wonderful backwards header in the Europa League gave Amad his first United goal last season. That showed the confidence of the man.
Now the trick is consistency; something Ronaldo learned over his first three years at Old Trafford.
At 36, United’s returning great can offer plenty off the pitch as well as on it. His arrival has seen an immediate lift among the club’s players young and old.
But Amad (and Mason Greenwood) could benefit more than most.
The young winger should take a note of everything Ronaldo does. He may not get much game time in the short term, but Amad’s failed loan move could actually ensure he becomes a better player under the veteran’s guidance.