Premier League bosses may have missed a trick in the past two transfer windows.
Back in the summer of 2014, Jeremy Menez was edging towards the exits at Paris St-Germain as he prepared to drop into the free agent pool. He is a player who has figured on English radars in the past – during his time at Roma – but he was lured back to the familiar surrounds of Serie A by AC Milan.
Such a move will have raised a few eyebrows. The 27-year-old, a man who should be approaching the peak of his powers, had opted to link up with a side seemingly on the wane.
Milan is not the footballing hub it once was, with AC and Inter enduring humbling falls from grace.
Perhaps that was part of the appeal. Maybe Menez believed that he was the man to get the San Siro fires burning again and return the Rossoneri to the upper reaches of the Italian top flight.
In fairness to him, he has delivered. Unfortunately, those around him have not.
Menez is enjoying his most productive season to date in front of goal, with the target found 12 times in the league. That is a return which places him just two behind Juventus forward Carlos Tevez in the race for the Golden Boot.
He had netted eight of those efforts prior to the winter transfer window swinging open, with a productive run enjoyed in the build-up to Christmas.
Pressed prior to that streak what his targets for the season were in terms of impact in the final third, Menez had said: “To score 10 goals. In Italy when you say Menez, you think: ‘Ah yes, the one who scores four times a year’. It won’t be like that. And I want to get back in the national team. France host the Euros in two years’ time, and I want to be there.”
The Frenchman clearly had no thoughts of moving on at that stage, with there a desire on his part to make a positive impression in Milan and earn a standing as a key man for club and country.
That may be why speculation was thin on the ground over the New Year.
Menez had penned a three-year deal upon his return to Italy, but we all know that most contracts in the modern era are not worth the paper they are printed on.
With Milan on the slide, and unable to spurn big-money offers had they been made, you may have expected more of an interest to have been shown from the Premier League.
It was not forthcoming, though, and the window of opportunity has now closed.
There may be a few bosses reassessing the situation ahead of the summer, when Menez will be able to fully reflect on his first 12 months at the San Siro, what he has achieved and what the future holds.
With his current employers 13 points off the pace in the race for Champions League qualification, maybe those thoughts will start to turn to elsewhere. Make up your own mind in the Serie A betting, where Milan are generally 40/1 to finish in the top three.
Menez can be a handful, on and off the pitch, but surely there is a place for a forward of his undoubted talent at any number of Premier League sides. Enigmatic performers are often embraced by bosses of the real-life and fantasy variety in England.