While Morgan Schneiderlin may not have been the only transfer mistake made under the Farhad Moshiri regime at Everton, he certainly proved one of the most expensive, having failed to live up to his initial hefty price tag.
The Frenchman had originally made his name as part of the hugely talented Southampton side which stormed back into the Premier League in 2012 under Nigel Adkins, alongside the likes of Adam Lallana and Jose Fonte, having helped the Saints to navigate their way out of the third tier after joining in 2008.
His displays on the south coast alerted the attention of Manchester United, with Louis Van Gaal opting to fork out £25m for the defensive midfielder in 2015, only for the player to be moved on just 18 months later following Jose Mourinho’s appointment.
Despite failing to convince at Old Trafford, the Toffees and Ronald Koeman – in their infinite wisdom – decided that Schneiderlin was worth a punt, as they coughed up a fairly sizeable £24m to bring him Goodison Park in January 2017.
In truth, those among the United hierarchy would have been rubbing their hands in glee at having been able to recoup almost their entire initial transfer fee on a player who had failed to nail down a regular starting berth and who, according to club legend Rio Ferdinand, posed “zero threat” in the middle of the park.
Nevertheless, the Goodison Park outfit went ahead with the deal, although they would eventually wish they hadn’t as the Frenchman went on to score just one goal in 88 appearances in all competitions over the next three years.
In fact, he had as many goal contributions in total as he did red cards (three), notably getting sent off in a Europa League defeat to Lyon in November 2017, with the dismissal leaving pundit Chris Sutton to suggest that the player “didn’t look like he wanted to be there”.
As it proved, Schneiderlin might as well not have been on Merseyside over the next few years, as he made next to no impact in blue, while he was infamously booed by his own supporters while entering the fray as a substitute in February 2018, just a year into his time at the club.
Having failed to ever win over the crowd or the string of managers who came and went at Everton, he was eventually shipped off to Nice in January 2021 for a fraction of his initial cost, with the Premier League outfit having been forced to accept that he was simply a lost cause.
Since then, the 32-year-old has made 56 appearances for his current club in all competitions, although he is still yet to find the net, while his market value has now dropped to a mere £3.6m – a reflection of his stark decline over the last five years or so.