You should never have regrets.
But it’s easier to tell yourself that than David De Gea.
The Spanish goalkeeper came within minutes of signing for Real Madrid in the 2015 summer transfer window and his football career would have looked very different.
It was reported at the time that De Gea was ‘distraught’ to see his protracted move to the Bernabeu fall through… because of a dodgy fax machine.
There was plenty of tittle tattle between the two clubs but we can all pretty much agree, someone at Old Trafford (possibly a certain Jose Mourinho) had been putting jam sandwiches in the fax machine.
That was in an effort to make sure De Gea stayed in Manchester so they could count on his wonder saves for a few more years, which worked out pretty well for the club.
While it’s been pretty good for De Gea at United, it could’ve been so much better if he’d moved to Spain.
It was under Louis Van Gaal that De Gea was denied his move and while they were almost completely fallow years, bar an FA Cup triumph in 2016, it was the style of football that really grated with the fans.
With no spark up front and little-to-zero creativity in midfield, it was De Gea that became the darling of the fans with a string of blockbuster performances to keep the opposition out.
Since Mourinho took over, De Gea’s displays have elevated him to arguably the best keeper on the planet.
Time after time, United’s impotency at the other end of the pitch has been rescued by De Gea pulling out time-warping saves to make sure a 1-0 scoreline means three points.
In the three years since the move collapsed De Gea has won one FA Cup, one League Cup and the Europa League and the fact he’s been named United’s Player of the Year for three successive years says it all.
However, while De Gea was standing behind Phil Jones and Chris Smalling against Rostov in the Europa League, Real Madrid were winning their second consecutive Champions League trophy.
In fact, right now it is very likely that De Gea would celebrating adding a record third Champions League in a row to his trophy cabinet.
Sergio Ramos might have even let him hold the cup for a bit.
De Gea would also be able to boast another La Liga title, a Spanish Super Cup and two UEFA Super Cup and Club World Cups apiece.
But more importantly, had Real Madrid signed De Gea back in that fateful summer, with the firepower Los Blancos have upfront and the cat-like Spaniard between the sticks then they could have won a lot more.
A lot more.
Take this season as an example, Real Madrid finished 17 points behind Barcelona in the league conceding 44 goals.
United finished second conceding just 28 goals as De Gea kept 18 clean sheets in 38 games.
Yes, Barca had an incredible season but a Real Madrid side with a watertight defence could have run them close.
Real Madrid will want to consolidate their era of dominance in Europe with some big signings over the next couple of years and it is unlikley they will have given up their pursuit of the United man.
Florentino Perez does not like to take no for an answer.
So we could yet see De Gea in a Real Madrid shirt and if he makes the move to La Liga be prepared to see him winning a lot of trophies.
Because that’s what Real do.