If you had told Manchester United fans before the summer they would not sign a central midfielder, but they would sign a teenage boy from Crewe, they would have been less than enamoured.
Indeed if you added to that comment that after his debut Sir Alex Ferguson would be tipping the player to replace Paul Scholes, it would have seemed like some kind of bad joke.
Yet as it goes, fans are quite taken with young Nick Powell, and see his future potential as limitless. But there is one thing which fans need to bear in mind when it comes to the player.
He is not Paul Scholes, and we are not talking about talent levels, but rather his position. Powell describes himself as a number 10, an attacking midfielder who flits between the midfield and attack.
The player most similar to him in United's team is Shinji Kagawa, and when he drops deep Wayne Rooney. Scholes was never a number 10, he was always a central midfielder, albeit one with differing characteristics to nowadays.
So an obvious question, is whether United are seeking to remodel Powell as a more orthodox central midfielder. He came on for Scholes on Saturday against Wigan, and made an immediate impact by scoring.
It was in many ways, a Scholes-esque goal, a late arrival to the attack, thumping home a finish. If he can continue this, then Sir Alex is right, he is in with a shout of replacing the Ginger maestro, but to inform a real opinion of whether this is possible, more will be needed to be seen of the young talent, rather than basing an opinion on a substitute cameo.
He will hope for an opportunity against Newcastle in the League Cup, and build from there.
The problem with restricting Powell to a central midfield role is that it curbs his attacking talent a little. Perhaps it will be better for the player, seeing as there will be more chances there, rather than competing with Kagawa for a playmaker spot, but if that is the case, the club need to excel in another position.
If Powell, and Kagawa, are to flourish for United, they need to get the defensive side of their midfield sorted. Michael Carrick has been freed from defence, and played well against Wigan, but sterner tests are to come.
There are many who believe United really need to sign a defensive midfielder, with Cheik Tiote, and Yann M'Vila among those mentioned, while the versatile Marouane Fellaini could provide the presence the club are missing.
The reason this is so important, is because Powell's natural game is to be attacking. To ask him to play a deeper role would curb that, and the club need balance.
A midfield of Powell/Kagawa, a more mobile box-to-box midfielder, Scholes/Cleverley/Anderson, plus a defensive midfielder Carrick, or new signing, would provide the perfect balance.
Powell may be coaxed into playing deeper and moulded into a different type of player, but if United could really nail the defensive side of their midfield, then he wouldn't have to.
image: © smemon