The summer transfer window has always been a period of despair for Evertonians. With the limited funds available, it was always a case of who was going out before we could talk about who would arrive. However this summer the winds of change are currently swirling around Goodison Park, and the biggest gust has came in the form of Romelu Lukaku.
Signed for the princely sum of £28m, he is Everton's biggest signing in the history of the club, and at the same time has become their biggest hope of the good times returning once again. While supporters were treated to contrasting reports of the Belgian staying at Chelsea, moving to Juventus and even going on loan to Athlético Madrid, Everton remained increasingly calm about acquiring him on a permanent deal. They also secured the signings of Gareth Barry and Muhamed Bešić to further supporter optimism.
Manager Roberto Martinez spearheads that optimism. Brought in from Wigan last summer as the man to replace Manchester United bound David Moyes, his positive mentality has convinced everyone that Everton are ready to come good once more. Those who needed convincing most were the clubs star players, namely Seamus Coleman, Leighton Baines and England starlet Ross Barkley. Each could easily have thought that last year was a flash in the pan, but Martinez has convinced them otherwise, his enthusiasm and drive surely being the reason their long-term future is at the club has been sealed.
In fact, in the grand scheme of things, their signing new contracts may prove to be more important than the acquisition of Lukaku. While the striker's permanent move brings an end to the club's continuous hunt for the quality striker it has desperately needed since the days of Lineker in the 80s, he will need to be supported by quality players if Everton are to succeed. Adding in to that the extension for John Stones, and hopefully James McCarthy, as well as the signing of hotly tipped Brendan Galloway and potentially David Henen, and the future is looking rosy for the club.
The cynical, and somewhat jealous, opposition supporters out there have been quick to state otherwise. Their main argument has been that should Everton fail to win trophies in the near future, Lukaku will be gone and the dream will go with it. While that has the potential to happen, the club will not mind one bit. If the Belgian decides to move on, the club are virtually guaranteed a profit on the price they paid this summer should he continue to perform as he has already.
They will also be safe in the knowledge that with their striking problem now solved, following summers can be spent further improving an already impressive squad to increase their hopes of silverware. If they achieve their Champions League aim in the meantime, then not only will the future be bright, it will be positively sparkling. The Martinez revolution that started last summer has only just begun, and regardless of what the future may hold, this summer has been one of the best in the history of the club so far and hints at an exciting season to come.