Bolton manager Dougie Freedman rues the day that his club allowed Marcos Alonso to slip through their grasp and insists it is no surprise to see the Spaniard excelling at Sunderland.
Freedman gave Alonso his big break at Bolton and was desperate to keep him at the Reebok, but the left back's forms had attracted too many admirers and he opted to leave for Fiorentina under freedom of contract.
He told The Bolton News:
I was disappointed when he left in the summer but I can't blame the boy for wanting to go and play in Serie A.
When I first came here we had Stephen Warnock and I had to look at everyone.
I decided [Warnock] had to move on because I had a very good left-back who wasn't even getting a game in Marcos.
He came in, did great, and we tried to keep him in the end but the lure of Serie A was too good.
A few months later when he was looking to come back I spoke to Gus Poyet on it and there were a couple of clubs in the Premier League looking to sign him, so I'm not surprised he's doing well for Sunderland.
Alonso has possibly been one of the most pleasant surprises of the season for Sunderland. His style of play appears to align perfectly with Poyet's philosophies and system, and he has impressed on just about every outing since his January switch.
With a bit of luck Fiorentina won't have been able to figure out what they have yet and will be receptive to a permanent deal in the summer.