Everton's difficult start to the season has just got a lot worse with the news that Leighton Baines is set to miss the majority of the year with an ankle injury.
Baines underwent surgery on Thursday and will be sidelined out for between 12 and 14 weeks, potentially ruling him out until the start of the December.
Baines first went under the knife in May to cure a long-standing ankle problem and sat out the final two games of the season.
That was in the hope that 30-year-old would be fully fit in time for the new campaign. However, despite playing an active part in pre-season Baines took a blow to the same ankle he had surgery on in training earlier this week.
After having the injury assessed it was decided he needed further surgery and will now sit out the first few months of the campaign.
Luke Garbutt would be a natural replacement for Baines but he is both injured and long-term on-loan at Fulham. There are also question marks over the fitness of Bryan Oviedo, meaning Brendan Galloway has a wonderful chance to establish himself in the first-team.
However, Baines' attacking instincts will be much more difficult to replace given he is our main creative outlet - he created more chances than any defender in the Premier League last season.
The need for a playmaker has just got a whole lot more urgent.