Jonny Evans admits his glorious 2008/09 campaign could have been so different had he moved to Sunderland.
The Manchester United youngster enjoyed a productive loan spell with the Black Cats last season and the Wearsiders were keen to make that move permanent.
However, they saw an offer for Evans knocked back by United boss Sir Alex Ferguson - who always had high hopes for the Northern Ireland international.
His faith has been rewarded this term as the 21-year-old has come of age at Old Trafford.
Evans has helped the Red Devils to an 11th Premier League title and is hoping to play some part in Wednesday's UEFA Champions League final against Barcelona.
His fortunes stand in stark contrast to those of Sunderland, with the Black Cats currently battling to preserve their top-flight status.
"It's been a great season for me, but I always think about what could have happened to me," said Evans.
"If United had accepted the bid from Sunderland last summer I would have gone there. I don't think I would have had much choice because if your club doesn't want you then you move on.
"It would have been a great challenge working under Roy Keane again. It was something I really enjoyed when I went on loan to Sunderland and I definitely would have gone back.
"Things would have been a lot different for me."
Rio Ferdinand is expected to come back into contention for United in midweek as they look to successfully defend their European crown, but Evans is desperate to play some part in the Rome showpiece.
"I want to play against Hull (on Sunday) and I want to play against Barcelona," he said.
"I think Rio will make it on Wednesday night and that will be a big boost for him and a big boost for the team.
"But playing is what this game is all about. I will still get a Champions League medal, but it's much better to have won it by playing."