After a summer of speculation, it was finally confirmed today that John Stones would be joining Manchester City from Everton for a record fee of £47.5 million.
Although the news came as no surprise to Everton fans, losing the defender who has the potential to be one of the best centre-backs in the world will come as a blow to the Toffees.
Since the arrival of new manager Ronald Koeman, Everton have been relatively quiet in the transfer market. The Toffees will be looking for a replacement and reinforcements elsewhere to strengthen the squad.
With Ashley Williams set to join Everton from Swansea for £12 million and Yannick Bolasie from Crystal Palace for £25 million. Koeman will be determined to add more depth into the squad before the transfer window closes.
Losing Stones will no doubt divide opinion - the defender under-achieved last year, he frequently lacked urgency and fans were left frustrated by unnecessary risk-taking which often saw Everton concede late goals and throw away points. With an offer of £47.5 million and a player who wanted to leave, Everton had no choice in letting Stones go.
However, losing a player like Stones just days before the start of the Premier League season is an unwanted distraction for any team. Koeman's next task will surely be ensuring that he can prevent Romelu Lukaku from leaving the club.
It has been heavily rumoured that Lukaku could follow in Stones' footsteps and leave Goodison to re-join former club Chelsea. According to the Express, Chelsea are willing to wait until deadline day if it means re-signing the striker.
However, Everton are determined not to let their leading goal-scorer go. Koeman will be hoping to lead Everton back to the top half of the table and challenging for a European spot. Without their star striker that will be a difficult job for the new manager.
Despite a new billionaire investor and a seemingly bright future for the club, it seems that Everton are still not able to prevent their top players from leaving and that doesn't send the best message long term, even if they are acting quickly to buy replacements.