When Everton signed Michael Keane for a total that could rise to £30m back in 2017, eyebrows were raised.
There was a clear recognition that the central defender could become a big part of the Three Lions set up and with that in mind, he was always going to cost a fair whack.
However, it’s difficult to suggest that sum of money has ever been worth it. This assessment comes in light of an extremely difficult window for the Toffees too.
Rafa Benitez hasn’t been able to spend as freely as he would have liked when agreeing to come to Goodison Park and their inability to sign another proven centre-half is coming back to bite them.
With Ben Godfrey on the sidelines, those who have come in to deputise are hardly covering themselves in glory.
Keane has been questionable right throughout the new campaign, form that makes Everton’s decision to hand him a new five-year contract in 2020 a rather baffling one.
The £69k-per-week earner was at fault for Leeds’ opening goal last weekend, turning slowly and allowing Patrick Bamford to get the run on him.
Yet, Keane’s form didn’t improve despite playing against Championship opposition in the Carabao Cup.
Everton were far from their best as they scraped a 2-1 win away at Huddersfield after having Moise Kean sent off for his reaction to a late tackle.
Although that didn’t help proceedings, neither did Keane’s defending for Huddersfield’s goal.
As the ball was swung in from a corner, the former Burnley man completely lost his marker as Tom Lees rose highest to head the ball home.
He was playing next to Jonjoe Kenny, a further defender who looked completely out of his depth. He endured a torrid loan spell with Celtic last term and his first outing for Everton after returning did not go well either.
Kenny was caught out on plenty of occasions and was handed a match rating of just five by the Liverpool Echo.
Yet, his statistics certainly weren’t as bad as Keane’s. He completed just 73% of his passes, the second-worst tally by an outfield player in a Toffees shirt on the night.
Furthermore, he surrendered possession on 17 occasions, a tally that only Asmir Begovic topped in the Everton side.
It’s one thing performing below par against Premier League opposition but the fact he was at fault against a team in the division below says a lot about his early season performances.
Rafa Benitez should be incredibly concerned about the form of his centre-back. He must lust for the return of Godfrey.