When Rafa Benitez was controversially appointed as the new manager of Everton at the beginning of the summer, few would have expected him to begin life in the fashion he has.
The Toffees aren’t only in the top four after the first month of football but they sit level on points with the league leaders Manchester United.
Everton have spent a considerable sum of money in the last few years without ever really getting close to the Premier League’s elite.
It is typical, therefore, that after a window where they spent an accumulative £1.7m on five players, they were now well and truly gunning for European football again.
Dominic Calvert-Lewin has started the season with three goals in three matches but they owe much of their early season form to their two wingers.
Demarai Gray is showing signs of finally living up to his wonderful potential with three strikes in four appearances while Andros Townsend has hit the ground running too.
The left-footed dynamo was simply superb against Burnley on Monday night as he supplied a delicious cross for Michael Keane to head home and then unleashed a quite magnificent long-range effort that flew into the back of the net.
However, they weren’t the only wingers starring at Goodison Park this week.
One player that Everton targeted in the summer transfer window was Burnley’s Dwight McNeil.
The 21-year-old was linked with a £25m swoop but the Clarets were able to hold onto him for another campaign.
It feels like it’s only a matter of time before the flanker earns a bigger move elsewhere, especially if he stars as he did in Merseyside on Monday evening.
Despite his team losing the match, McNeil completed all five of the dribbles he attempted, while delivering another handful of crosses and playing two key passes.
Per SofaScore, he ranked as the club’s best player during the 90 minutes which is hardly surprising given his exciting style of play.
Dubbed “special” by his teammate Ashley Westwood, this isn’t the first time that the England U21 international has terrorised Everton.
During a 2-1 win for Burnley at Goodison back in March, McNeil was on the score sheet as he gave Mason Holgate a torrid time down the left side.
He completed three dribbles on this occasion, conjured up four key passes and managed another five crosses.
Coincidentally, he also gave them a fright in the 1-1 draw at Turf Moor last December. During that clash, the forward produced a jaw-dropping ten crosses and was successful with another five dribbles.
It appears as though McNeil relishes playing against Everton but he could become one of their own in the January window.
On the evidence he’s provided Toffees supporters with already, they’d surely love to see him in the royal blue once the winter arrives.
Benitez simply has to secure him when the next market opens.