Manchester United and England star Marcus Rashford could have had a very different season if a loan move to Crewe Alexandra had gone ahead.
League One's bottom club enquired about signing the teenage striker but were rebuffed as United needed him for their Under-21 side, according Crewe first-team coach James Collins.
Rashford went on to make his United a week later in the Europa League, scoring twice against Midtjylland
“I spoke to (United Under-21 coach) Warren Joyce earlier in the season about taking him on loan for us," Collins explained.
“Warren said we couldn’t because they needed him for their under-21s. A week later he made his debut for the first team and the rest is history.”
Rashford's rise surprised many having started the season on the bench for United's Under-21s but finished it with a place in England's Euro 2016 squad.
“It just shows there are good players in academies but opportunity is the key," Collins said.
“Marcus Rashford could easily still be languishing in United U18s because the manager hadn’t put him in.
“But whatever you say about [Louis] Van Gaal this season, he threw them in, maybe through injury. He has took his chance, fair play to the kid.
“How many other Marcus Rashfords are there out there in these academies? I think quite a lot."