After the start from hell for David Moyes, with senior professionals shirking their responsibilities to the club and an injury list as long as your arm, the Scotsman is now publicly looking towards the future and the rebuilding of Manchester United.
As United felt the sting of the cruel hand of failure on their skin, Moyes' riposte was to find an antidote in the smooth Spaniard, who on his own improves United's midfield flair tenfold.
But has Moyes done enough business this January?
Many United fans will tell you no.
The panic surrounding the end of the Ferguson era was always present, even before this season started. However, this was compounded by a rate of defeats not seen at Old Trafford for more than a generation.
The collapse of three of United's "former" world-class players has damaged the club's prospects hugely.
The careers of Nemanja Vidic, Rio Ferdinand and Patrice Evra are all but over at United.
These three players were arguably the best in the world in their positions for an extended period, but their decline has suffocated the Red Devils just at a time when the team needs stability and leadership.
Should Moyes have purchased a defender in this window?
But Baines' age and price was not the perfect fit for United, despite the obvious ability the player brings with him.
The two players United really need play for Porto, and the possibility of them becoming Manchester residents is high, as Manchester City attempt to take them both from under United's nose, per Mark Ogden and Jason Burt of The Telegraph.
French defender Eliaquim Mangala and Brazilian midfielder Fernando fit the specific needs of Moyes right now, and both are subject to a £50.4 million joint bid from City, per Ogden and Burt's article.
Losing Mangala would be a blow to Moyes. He is the natural successor to Vidic.
Phil Jones will no doubt be given the long-term responsibility of carrying the central defence with Jonny Evans, but a partnership of Vincent Kompany and Mangala would be irresistible. It would take City to the next level.
United have also lost three players in this window: Fabio has left the club permanently to join Cardiff, with Wilfried Zaha accompanying him on loan, per ManUtd.com.
All three are no loss, with Fabio falling behind the erratic Alexander Buttner in the pecking order.
Fabio and Anderson were once huge Brazilian youth talents, and you cannot help but feel that United have mismanaged them to a certain extent.
Their combined injuries have hurt their progression and it is probably best for both players to start afresh elsewhere.
Zaha needs games, and the move to play under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is a good one for him and for United.
The jury is out on whether he has the tools to be a United player, but we will never find out with him sat in the reserve team.
Zaha now has a few months to push for an unlikely place in England's World Cup squad and Cardiff could be a magical move for him if he hits the ground running.
People forget that Zaha is still only 21 years old, and has never started a match in the Premier League.
With Adnan Januzaj's rise to prominence, it was always going to be difficult for him to get games. Like Nick Powell, he is one for the near future, but for now he needs to get minutes.
United may not have brought in quantity during this window, but more importantly they have purchased world-class quality.
Mata is the first brick in the rebuilding of this cracked structure, and his introduction to the squad is better than Moyes picking up several journeymen to help over the next couple of seasons.
If the club can get over its crippling injury crisis, it has the tools to make the top four.
Then in June the scaffolding that is holding up this behemoth of football can be taken down, when hopefully its restoration will be completed.