It seemed like a no-brainer at the time, but did Bayern Munich actually weaken their striking department with their recruitment of Robert Lewandowski in the summer of 2014?
As one of the most sought-after frontmen in Europe, news of the Poland international’s imminent availability as a free agent sparked a mad scramble for his signature.
Having been a regular source of goals at Borussia Dortmund during a glittering period in their history – passing the 20-goal mark in each of his last three seasons with the club – here was a man who the cream of the continent were determined to get their hands on.
In the end, he stuck with what he knows and opted to remain in the Bundesliga, snubbing reported interest from the Premier League and La Liga.
Bayern, it appeared, had produced quite a coup and had landed themselves a guaranteed source of goals.
They were, however, left facing the uncomfortable question of what to do with Mario Mandzukic.
The Croat was always going to be deemed surplus to requirements once Lewandowski rode into town, with his profile not quite matching up to that of the new boy – despite boasting a fine domestic and international strike rate of his own.
Bayern, though, may have been blinded by Polish lights, with exploits this season suggesting that they would have been better off sticking with a man offloaded to Atletico Madrid.
Mandzukic, in a side not as free-flowing as they were last season as they swept to the Spanish title and Champions League final, has offered more to the collective cause than the man who replaced him in Bavaria.
As forwards go, there is little to choose between the two and comparisons are easily drawn.
Both in their mid-to-late 20s and standing around the six foot mark, the pair are hard-working, physically capable strikers who are comfortable on the deck and in the air.
They have also seen a similar amount of game time at club level this season, allowing their efforts at home and abroad to be compared and contrasted.
In the Bundesliga, a division he knows like the back of his hand, Lewandowski has managed 11 goals and provided three assists.
In a Bayern side easing towards the successful defence of their German crown – check out the Bundesliga betting markets if you want the odds of their potential – the 26-year-old’s contribution equates to just 16.7 per cent of their overall tally of 66 goals.
To put those numbers into perspective, Mandzukic – during his first season in the new surrounds of the Spanish top flight – has mustered 12 goals (23.5 per cent of Atletico’s 51 as a unit) and five assists.
The 28-year-old has also found the target five times among Europe’s elite, while Lewandowski has just two Champions League goals to his name this term.
The latter is so far failing to net at a rate of one in two – something the former managed while grabbing 48 in 88 games for Bayern – with Arjen Robben currently their most potent attacking weapon.
It has to be noted that Mandzukic has also seen a team-mate better his return this season, with Antoine Griezmann enjoying another standout campaign. But he is more of a team player and you get the feeling that there will be no shortage of interest in his services this summer if reports of a falling out with Diego Simeone are to be believed and he is edged towards the exit door.
A return to Bayern is highly unlikely, but it could be that those who were pipped at the post during the lengthy Lewandowski pursuit end up getting the better end of the bargain 12 months down the line.