Hargreaves' move to Manchester City was the shock of transfer deadline day.
Now 30, the midfielder has barely played for three seasons after operations to try and cure a chronic tendinitis complaint.
Sir Alex Ferguson could see no future for Hargreaves at Manchester United and Hargreaves was forced to resort to a YouTube presentation in an effort to prove his fitness.
Yet, much like Michael Owen two years previously, unconventional tactics worked, with Roberto Mancini showing enough faith in Hargreaves to offer him a one-year contract.
Now Capello has weighed in, confirming a player who won the last of his 42 caps against the United States in May 2008 could yet have an international future.
"I hope he will be fit," said the England boss.
"He was an important player for England. When he played he did really well.
"Then he had a knee problem and didn't play.
"I hope he will be really good in a short time, for Manchester City and the national team."