There was always a divide in opinion between fans when it came to former Everton Director of Football Marcel Brands, who was responsible for many of their signings in recent years.
Plenty of arrivals at Goodison Park have not or did not quite make the grade at the club, or are yet to fulfil their potential since joining, and certain decisions made were quite clearly, in hindsight, the wrong ones.
One key mistake made by the Dutchman was to let talented young winger Josh Bowler leave the club on a free transfer, after spending the 2019-20 season on loan at Championship club Hull City, before being left in the reserves last year.
Despite not playing a single game at senior level in the previous campaign, there were a long list of clubs lining up to sign the 22-year-old from Chertsey on one-year contracts and indeed there still are, knowing that he had plenty of talent but not knowing whether or not they could unearth it.
Blackpool were the club that won the initial race, and their boss Neil Critchley immediately showed faith in the Englishman to try and help them beat the drop in the second tier, and thus far, Bowler has done an excellent job in helping his team get ever-closer to their target.
Having scored six goals and assisted three more, Critchley is aware of interest from a number of Premier League clubs, and expects more.
“Wingers who score goals and get assists and do the things Josh can do will attract attention,” said Critchley.
“I don’t see any other wingers in the Championship doing what Josh can do, so he’s a prized asset for us.
“He’s in a rich vein of form, so wingers who score and assist are worth their weight in gold.”
A left-footed forward who has 1.4 shots and 2.6 dribbles per game, the Blackpool star would have been exactly the type of player that new Everton boss Frank Lampard would have liked to have at his disposal, particularly with new signings Demarai Gray and Andros Townsend going through a difficult spell of form – with neither player scoring a league goal in 2o22 so far.
Toffees fans will surely be hopeful now that they have a manager who likes to develop their youth prospects, but it’s too late for Bowler who is reportedly being targeted by Leicester City and Wolves to improve their own first team.