If Paul Pogba leaves Old Trafford in the coming months, Manchester United already have the midfielder in place to spearhead a rebuild.
Bruno Fernandes has only been at United a matter of weeks after his protracted move from Sporting Lisbon but he is delivering the kind of wizardry and impudence from the playmaker role that United have been crying out for.
The latest evidence came in a 3-0 win over relegation-threatened Watford in the Premier League on Sunday when all of Fernandes' qualities were on show.
The way he slotted home a penalty on 42 minutes to open the scoring at Old Trafford spoke a lot about the confidence Fernandes already has.
He followed up that first goal for United with his second assist, setting up Mason Greenwood for the clinching third at Old Trafford.
In between, it was Fernandes who sent through a precise through-ball that Anthony Martial latched onto before eventually scoring at the second attempt with a clever bit of play of his own.
United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer hailed the transformative impact Fernandes is having, all while Pogba - the club's record signing - is out of the team, recovering from injury but also clearly unsettled.
"Very excited by having him in," Solskjaer said of Fernandes.
"He has come in, given everyone a boost, and wants to conduct a game."
Solskjaer said Fernandes was a mix between Paul Scholes and Juan Sebastian Veron - two silky, creative former United midfielders.
"It means more than just getting a player in," he said.
"You can see the supporters, they're used to players with that personality, mentality and quality."
With their latest win, United jumped above Tottenham Hotspur and Sheffield United into fifth place.
In London, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scored two goals - to join Leicester City's Jamie Vardy with a league high 17 - in a 3-2 home win over Everton.
Youngster Eddie Nketiah was again preferred up front to the more experienced Alexandre Lacazette and repaid the faith of Arteta by making it 1-1, cancelling out Dominic Calvert-Lewin's goal that was scored inside the first minute.
Richarlison scored on the stroke of halftime to make it 2-2, only for Aubameyang to regain the lead for Arsenal early in the second half, having already made it 2-1 in the 33rd.
Elsewhere, Diogo Jota netted twice as Wolverhampton Wanderers beat rock bottom Norwich City 3-0 to move up to eighth.