When Manchester United paid £47million (BBC) for Fred, it looked like they had pulled off a coup.
After all, the Brazilian had impressed in the Champions League and was touted for a move to the blue half of Manchester.
But fast-forward a few months and Fred is still trying to make his mark at Old Trafford.
Despite breaking into the first-team due to the absence of Nemanja Matic and Ander Herrera, Fred has been outshone by a player who cost nothing. And it is hard to envisage the Brazilian being in United’s starting XI next season.
Scott McTominay has blossomed under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. The 22-year-old grows in maturity with every game and was one of the few players to leave the Nou Camp with his head held high.
The youngster knows the United way. He also does the dirty work without complaint or fanfare and looks a star in the making.
Money can only buy you so much in football these days. United thought that paying £47million would complete their midfield. Instead, it is an academy product proving his worth.
McTominay was not afraid to get stuck in against some of Europe’s finest. He is also a goal-threat and should add plenty more to his tally in the years ahead.
Perhaps he and Fred can perform together. But, for now, it is the United youngster doing everything they had expected of their summer signing. In fact, everything and more.