Manchester United were sent a stark reminder of a huge transfer mistake in their 3-1 loss at the hands of Leicester City in the FA Cup.
Youri Tielemans dominated in the midfield for the hosts, completely controlling the middle of the park and even getting himself on the scoresheet with a well-taken low shot from the edge of the area.
With the likes of Fred, Donny van de Beek and Nemanja Matic having particularly poor afternoons in the heart of the Red Devils’ midfield, it must be hugely frustrating that the Belgian could actually have been lining up for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men instead.
Following his impressive stint on loan at Leicester, it was reported in the Belgian media that United were interested in signing the then AS Monaco man.
A move never came to fruition though – a failure that looks like a huge mistake just under two years on.
Tielemans has been inspirational for Leicester since arriving at the King Power Stadium.
In 97 appearances for the Foxes, he has scored 16 goals and notched 18 assists. For comparison, United midfielder Fred has scored just three goals and produced nine assists in his time at Old Trafford.
Whilst it could be said that the Brazilian is far more of a defensive option, that was not immediately identifiable at the King Power Stadium on Sunday.
According to WhoScored, the two contributed the same amount of defensive actions throughout the game.
It is not just on the club stage that Tielemans is earning plaudits though. Belgium boss Roberto Martinez has been suitably impressed, labelling the 34-cap 23-year-old as an “enormous talent”.
Considering how he outperformed the Manchester United midfield on Sunday evening, it is hard to argue with that assessment.
Woodward then must be regretting letting Leicester secure the Belgian in 2019 having not managed to get him to Old Trafford.