When Manchester United moved quickly to sign Fred and Diogo Dalot this summer, fans hoped it was the start of a considerable overhaul.
An experienced centre-back, a right winger and a striker to act as backup to Romelu Lukaku were all tipped to follow. Yet when the transfer window closed only Lee Grant joined the Brazilian and the Portuguese at Old Trafford.
United’s early season struggles suggested that was not enough. However, against Young Boys on Wednesday Fred and Dalot showed just why Jose Mourinho was so desperate to get them through the door.
The pair’s release clauses meant deals were far easier to complete. But that should not detract from their undeniable quality.
Dalot has been tipped to be United’s right-back for the next decade; a worrying claim for Antonio Valencia. While Fred showed in the Champions League that, while he may take time to settle domestically, he is ready to shine on the biggest stage of all.
United are still a couple of players short of a complete pack. And it will be interesting to see what the January transfer window brings. But the performances of Fred and Dalot earlier this week were vindication for Mourinho.
He knew what he wanted and he ensured United got it. It is only a shame they could not get everyone on the manager’s wish list.