Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini admits he is unhappy to see Daniel Sturridge plying his trade with Chelsea.
The 22-year-old has emerged as a first-team regular at Stamford Bridge this season, and has been one of the few bright points for Andre Villas-Boas this term.
Sturridge has also broken into the England squad, and Mancini is now wondering what might have been as he slipped through City's grasps to sign for Chelsea.
The young forward was with City for six-years and played over 20 times for the club before his contract expired. He shunned a new deal with the club and joined Chelsea in the summer of 2009.
And Mancini admits that he wishes he had been at the club then, to prevent the deal happening.
"I know him very well. I have watched him many times. It's strange, he was brought up in Manchester and someone let him leave for virtually nothing," said Mancini.
"Sturridge is a really good player. He is young. Now we can't do anything because he's playing for Chelsea, but I would have seen him as one of the best young players at Manchester City.
"I asked him when he was playing for Bolton on loan last season, I asked him, 'Why did you leave Manchester City?' He said he didn't know why he had been allowed to leave.
"If he was here now, yes, he would be in the first team, and I think he will also arrive regularly in the national team.
"He would have been a great player for the future with us.
"I don't think it was difficult to see that he was a good player when he was young.
"When you have a young player like Sturridge, it's better to send him on loan (instead of letting him go) because he can improve."