Everton finished the transfer window with a flourish on Thursday as deals for Bernard, Yerry Mina, Andre Gomes and Kurt Zouma marked an eye-catching finale and further addressed some of the obvious flaws in the squad.
Brazilian midfielder Bernard was the first to sign, completing a free transfer after his Shakhtar Donetsk contract expired at the end of last season. Barcelona duo Mina and Gomes then followed shortly after and joined former teammate Lucas Digne in swapping the Camp Nou for Goodison Park this summer, with the former costing an initial £27.2 million and the latter joining on a season-long loan, before Zouma completed a season-long loan from Chelsea the following day, with his paperwork delayed.
Manager Marco Silva inherited a muddled squad without an identity as the revolving door of managers in recent years left the new boss and director of football Marcel Brands needing to add players while reducing the overblown squad in their midst. This restructure has seen 10 players depart on loan or permanently in this transfer window.
The hope is that the summer marks the tentative first steps on the road to recovery after the chaos of last season. While the previous campaign saw plenty of early but misguided business carried out, the late business in this window appears more focused and part of a clearly defined recruitment plan.
It marks a welcome shift after Everton threw big money and wages at a random assortment of players last season, unsure of what to do with them or how best to use them. Brands and Silva clearly identified positions in need of attention, positions neglected by previous regimes, and carried out their dealings accordingly.