If there were any Aston Villa fans watching the heavyweight Champions League clash between PSG and Bayern Munich on Tuesday night, then the performance of Idrissa Gueye would certainly have stood out to them.
The Senegal international was, of course, on the books at Villa Park as Tim Sherwood brought him to the club in the summer of 2015 from French side Lille.
Speaking after the announcement of his signing, the then Villa boss said: “He’s been one of the best young midfielders in France for the last few seasons. A lot of clubs were trying to sign him.
“I believe we are signing a player who is hungry to succeed, is entering what should be his best years and is perfectly suited to the Premier League.”
But, with the Midlands side suffering relegation from the Premier League that season, Gueye was sold to Everton, and the midfielder has since gone from strength to strength, now starring for French giants PSG.
On Tuesday, the £16.2m-rated dynamo stole the show for Mauricio Pochettino’s side as they edged past Bayern in the second leg of their Champions League tie, despite losing 1-0 on the night.
As per Sofascore, he won an incredible six tackles which was by far the highest of any player on the pitch, while his tally of eight duels won were only bettered by midfield partner Leandro Paredes.
Gueye produced an all-action display that was the key behind allowing the likes of Neymar and Kylian Mbappe to flourish further forward, snuffing out Bayern attacks time and time again.
It was a performance that saw Martin Keown dub as “frightening” whilst on commentary duty for BT Sport.
And, in their post-match player ratings, CBS Sports gave him a 7/10, saying: “Set the standard for his performances early on against Real Madrid and has largely struggled to reach that level since but these two legs have come very close with a pair of all-action displays.”
While keeping Gueye may have been a tough task at the time, the Senegalese ace has shown what Villa have missed out on since they made the decision to let him go a few years ago, and that surely goes down as a howler.