Southampton have a fine record of signing players for a cut price and selling on for astronomical profits in the future.
Another example, also purchased by the Red Devils, is Morgan Schneiderlin.
Having signed for the Saints whilst in the Championship for just £1.5m, to mould him into a fine Premier League midfielder before again selling for £24m marks incredible business from a club run sensationally well.
He featured 261 times for the south coast outfit and was widely regarded as one of the best defensive midfielders in the league. A 7.00 average SofaScore rating supported this. However, upon his move to Old Trafford, his career seemingly faltered.
This average quickly dropped to a career-low (at the time) of 6.68. Manchester had not suited him, so a trip down the M6 brought him to Everton, where he would once again struggle to recapture the form he had at Southampton.
It seemed like they had offloaded the Frenchman at the perfect time, as they never had to suffer from their sale to someone within the league.
Journalist Tom McDermott wondered whether he might have thrived under a new manager but claimed that he had been “terrible” regardless.
The 32-year-old now plays his football back in Ligue 1, for OGC Nice. This season has once again started poorly, however, as his current SofaScore rating of 6.64 suggests he is still floundering to recapture any semblance of his old self.
Southampton played a blinder to sell him when they did, as his dramatic career nosedive following suggests.
At the time it seemed like a huge blow, but as always happens with this efficient machine, his output was quickly replaced by another figure in Victor Wanyama.