The last time Rudi Garcia coached Gervinho, he was a winner: Having scored 18 goals, he had played a pivotal part in helping Lille win a league and cup double.
Understandably, the Ivorian piqued the interest of a number of Europe's top clubs, including Paris Saint-Germain, Atletico Madrid and Arsenal. It was the latter who won the race to sign him but whilst this should have represented a logical and organic step in his career, he instead regressed, and what followed was a miserable time.
More famed for his head shape than his scoring prowess, Gervinho made 63 appearances for the north London side but only started 31 league games in two seasons and only troubled the scoresheet 11 times (less than what he scored in that victorious season at Lille).
Whilst former teammates thrived and relished the chance to perform on a bigger stage—Chelsea's Eden Hazard, Newcastle United's Yohan Cabaye and Valencia's Adil Rami (soon to be of AC Milan) have all earned adulation from their new teams' fanbases—Gervinho stuttered.
Following a move to Roma this summer, though, he was reunited with the man who had signed him for Lille, from Le Mans, six years previously. The transformation was remarkable: He can now be seen charging at defenders and scoring goals with a predatory instinct. Arsenal fans will be astounded.
Maicon was another player who endured a turgid spell in England. Signed by Manchester City from Inter Milan in 2012, Maicon linked up again with former boss Roberto Mancini, who had brought him to the San Siro in 2006.
However, despite having played 24 games for Inter in the preceding campaign, he could never gain a sustained run in the City side and was restricted to nine league appearances.
Maicon's four Serie A medals and two Coppa Italia successes paled in comparison to the talent brought in courtesy of the backing from City's Abu Dhabi owners.
Now at Roma, though, the 32-year-old is experiencing a renaissance: Having started six of Roma's eight victorious league games, his perpetual stamina and ability is well deployed.
Federico Balzaretti was another risking obscurity following less game time. Whilst leaving now-relegated Palermo was a smart move in hindsight, the Italian defender ultimately lost his place in the national team by moving to Roma.
Having found his niche and another to feel the warmth of Garcia's confidence, he is blossoming.
Thriving in his preferred position as a full-back on the left, Balzaretti operates on the opposite wing to Maicon but mimics his surges up the pitch and barrelling runs back to defend.
It is unfortunate that two weeks on from scoring an impressive goal in the 2-0 win over Lazio, Balzaretti accrued a misdemeanour by being dismissed in Roma's 3-0 away victory at Inter Milan. Prior to that, the Italian was displaying to everyone—most notably to national team coach Cesare Prandelli—his credentials for why he should travel to next summer's World Cup.