In a transfer window where the deadline had, for the first time, been brought forward to before the start of the Premier League season and the World Cup makes securing deals for elite players even more difficult, prior planning was imperative.
Identifying targets in the closing weeks and months of the season and sounding out whether they would be interest in the project going on is the only way for top clubs to operate in the modern market.
So what happens when there isn’t even clarity over which manager will be in charge on opening day during that period?
That was the case at Everton, where the deeply unpopular Sam Allardyce was allowed to continue until the end of the season, stifling transfer progress.
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The style of football on show at Everton would have been so different under Allardyce than it will now be under Marco Silva that convincing potential recruits about their role at the club is a near impossibility.
While other clubs are able to offer stability and a clearly defined position for a player to occupy, Everton could not.
Which leads onto Japanese World Cup ace Takashi Inui. He agreed to join Real Betis on a free transfer on June 1 but would have been an ideal, cheap recruit for the Toffees’ new energetic, high-tempo revolution, if only the Toffees had their act together sooner.
Inui has shone out in Russia, with the highlight coming when he stunned Thibaut Courtois and Belgium in the last 16 as it looked as if Japan would stun former Everton manager Roberto Martinez and knock his side out of the competition.
In an unfancied side, Inui has shown impressive ability alongside Shinji Kagawa to add guile and invention to the trademark Japanese energy.
On a free, he would have been ideal for Everton, as Silva is sure to demand a high-tempo style and the squad that Allardyce left behind, assembled largely by Ronald Koeman still lacks variety and creativity in attacking areas.
That goal against Belgium was his second of the competition, after he opened the scoring against Senegal in the group stages.
With Everton increasingly reliant on Cenk Tosun in terms of finding the back of the net after struggling to ably replace the goals of Romelu Lukaku and Ross Barkley, a cheap recruit with an eye for goal would have been a welcome bonus.
Yet, because of Everton’s delay, Inui will now run out for Betis and remain in La Liga for the time being and Silva may well be forced to enter the expensive post-World Cup market to add something that Yannick Bolasie and Theo Walcott cannot.
That should serve as a lesson, and the Toffees have learned many since they became nouveau-riche, about decisiveness in the modern market and it is one that their fans will no doubt hope they heed.