Everton made plenty of smart signings over the summer, completely revamping their midfield in the process.
It was clear that Frank Lampard had identified this as a problem area, and whilst converting Alex Iwobi to a box-to-box midfielder helped up the work rate, he still felt it necessary to add Idrissa Gana Gueye and Amadou Onana as well.
Iwobi has excelled both offensively and defensively, and the hulking Belgian is clearly the future anchor of the team. That leaves another space in midfield for a slightly more forward-thinking player, and one could argue that a prime Mikel Arteta would slot in perfectly.
Signed by David Moyes on a permanent move in 2005 for just £2.8m, he quickly became a fan favourite for his ability to score from seemingly anywhere.
Known nowadays for his brilliant managerial mind, he had so much talent to control a midfield. If backed up by the defensive excellence of Onana, he would be even freer than he was under the Scotsman.
This season, the 21-year-old is averaging 1.1 interceptions, 2.4 tackles and 1.4 clearances per game, and has a brilliant ability to use his 6 foot 4 frame to steal possession and set his side away on the break.
If he had Arteta to feed, the Spaniard would be the ideal man to run into open space and have options to find or the option to shoot.
There is a reason why Moyes dubbed him a “valuable player”, before claiming: “With his talent, goals should be a bigger part of his game. He can eliminate people in and around the box and he’s a great finisher with both feet.”
There is hope that James Garner can perhaps become that player in the near future, but for now, Evertonians will reminisce of a midfielder who would complement Onana perfectly in today’s side.