Monday 31st January 2022 will undoubtedly go down in history as one of the busiest, most significant and exciting days in Everton history.
The much-anticipated arrival of Frank Lampard as manager was duly announced around 1.30 pm (UK time) along with his new incoming staff Joe Edwards as assistant manager, the well-respected Paul Clement as first team coach along with Chris Jones, another Chelsea coach.
Rumours of incoming players have reached fever point and rather than the usual wild speculation associated with transfer deadline day there appears to be real substance to what has emerged over the weekend and today.
If the rumours come to fruition, midfielder Donny van der Beek will join from his Manchester United wilderness on loan for the rest of the season. It seems that move is cast iron certainty after he reportedly passed his medical today.
In addition, I personally think this is outstanding business, Dele Alli will join on a permanent transfer from Tottenham where he has endured a miserable last few seasons, basically since Mauricio Pochettino left. If the rumoured terms of that deal are true (allegedly a free transfer but with an appearance-related transfer fee of £10 million to follow and other add-ons that could eventually sum up to £40m) then it is the most skillful piece of business conducted by Everton in recent years, probably since we signed Idrissa Gana Gueye for £7.1 million from Aston Villa in 2016, but more of that in a minute.
What is interesting is that both players looked close to moves to Crystal Palace before the transfers were unceremoniously hijacked by the Toffees.
If Lampard is able to get Alli anywhere near the performance level that catapulted him into the England team in 2015 then we have a class player on our hands for a potential bargain price. The very fact that we would have a) circumvented the self-imposed restrictions of loan players (due to the arrival of Anwar El Ghazi and van de Beek) and b) avoided an outlay that would have alerted the Financial Fair Play policing authority is really a credit to those officials doing the negotiating and none of us get to say that very often!
Certainly bringing in Dele who is still only 25 this way poses a minimal risk for the Blues - if he plays well enough to feature 20 times for the Toffees then that is a snip of a fee to pay. If he does well enough to go on to match all the add-ons that are supposedly in the deal then it will still have been worth it for Everton.
Other deals that may or may not get over the line are a loan for Idrissa Gana Gueye potentially returning to patrol our defensive half and also a loan for a player I have admired for years, Luka Jovic, the Serbian striker who made his name at Eintracht Frankfurt.
After months of drudgery and despair this could be a very exciting day under Super Frankie Lampard!