There’s obviously no games to look back in Everton’s history at the moment - the visit of Liverpool next Sunday will be the first competitive game they’ve played in June, in fact.
But today we’re looking back at two different arrivals at Goodison Park during the last decade-and-a-half; one who exceeded all expectations, and one who fell way below his own. Let’s go:
2006 - Blues complete Lescott signing
It’s 14 years ago today since Everton completed a £5 million move for Wolves central defender Joleon Lescott, in what proved to be one of David Moyes’ biggest bargains.
Though a sizeable fee at the time, Lescott, who was 23 when he made the move, was hailed by Moyes as “the best centre-half in the Championship,” and had been named Wolves’ player of the season in his final year.
He had never previously played in the Premier League, but he took to the top-flight like a duck to water, featuring in all 38 of Everton’s league games in his first two seasons, the second of which he has also managed ten goals in all competitions.
"It was a successful time in my career and for Everton as well" @JoleonLescott on his time a Everton#SkyFootballShow pic.twitter.com/wklcLQZd6t— Football Daily (@footballdaily) June 11, 2020
Excellent at either centre-back or at left-back, Lescott would go on to make 143 appearances for the Blues, though his Goodison career would end on a sour note when he had handed in a transfer request in August 2009.
Newly-rich Manchester City were strongly interested, and Lescott came in for hefty criticism in his only Everton appearance in 2009-10, that opening-day 6-1 hammering to Arsenal.
Lescott would eventually cross the north-west that month for about £22 million, going on to win two Premier League titles, one FA Cup and one League Cup in his five seasons with City.
Brief spells at West Brom, Aston Villa, AEK Athens and Sunderland (where he reunited with Moyes) followed, before Lescott retired with a total of 26 England caps to his name.
2016 - Koeman becomes new Everton manager
Today also marks four years since Ronald Koeman succeeded Roberto Martinez as Everton manager, and in doing so represented Farhad Moshiri’s first significant act as a shareholder at the club.
Koeman appeared to be Moshiri’s primary target from the moment Martinez was sacked in May 2016, and finally landed his man one month later when the Dutchman left Southampton to sign a three-year deal at Goodison Park. The Blues would also pay the rather disappointed Saints a hefty £5 million in compensation.
Koeman’s first term at Goodison was certainly an improvement, if marred by consistency, but Everton finished seventh as opposed to 11th in the previous two years, qualifying for the Europa League in the process. Romelu Lukaku enjoyed his best Everton campaign in front of goal, netting 26, while Tom Davies’ introduction transpired as a masterstroke, and £7 million Idrissa Gueye proved one of the signings of the season in central midfield.
But despite a splurge of players over the following summer including Jordan Pickford, Michael Keane, Davy Klaassen, Wayne Rooney and Gylfi Sigurdsson, Koeman’s Everton lost their way. Lukaku left, and nobody - not least Sandro Ramirez - could fill that void.
A galling run of opening fixtures, including clashes with both Manchester clubs, Tottenham and Chelsea consecutively within the first five games of the season, didn’t help, but Everton were abject under Koeman in 2017-18, before he was sacked in mid-October with the Blues in the relegation zone with just eight points from nine games.
Koeman left Everton after 58 games in charge, with a return of 24 wins, 14 draws and 20 defeats, with fans often citing a perceived lack of enthusiasm for the job on his part as a primary reason for his downfall (see the colour of his Christmas tree in December 2016, for instance...)
Since leaving Goodison, Koeman has become manager of the Netherlands national team; a role he has held now for almost two-and-a-half years.