While critics and fans alike are queuing up to praise the transfer activity performed by big-spending Everton this summer, Michael Ball is a welcome devils' advocate.
The former Everton left-back, who spent five years at Goodison Park between 1996 and 2001, told the Liverpool Echo that the club’s failure to secure Olivier Giroud as a replacement for Romelu Lukaku was a major negative in an otherwise positive transfer window.
"With the transfer window now having slammed shut it was disappointing that we didn't get the striker that Ronald Koeman said we needed and if, as we've been told, Everton were in for Olivier Giroud then letting that drag out has probably cost us," said Ball to Liverpool Echo.
"Obviously it was a busy time and they were getting the likes of Wayne Rooney in plus a lot of others but they knew there was going to be a big hole at centre-forward with Romelu Lukaku going and in hindsight we probably shouldn't have let Rom go until we'd brought a replacement in."
One step forward, another one back?
It’s difficult to disagree. Everton have a raft of creative talents at their disposal with Wayne Rooney, Gylfi Sigurdsson and Davy Klaassen all arriving on Merseyside this summer but there is a distinct lack of players capable of putting the ball in the back of the net.
Rooney hasn’t scored more than 10 Premier League goals in a season since 2014/15, Sandro Ramirez looked all at sea against Chelsea prior to the international break and Dominic Calvert-Lewin, a hard-worker with excellent hold-up play, still has only one top flight goal to his name.
It would be a little much to expect inexperienced youngsters like Sandro or Calvert-Lewin to step up and provide the 25 goals the squad is missing after Lukaku left for Manchester United.
Koeman has spoken frequently about needing the rest of the squad to start pitching in but, in truth, the lack of a dominant, powerful and proven centre-forward a la Giroud threatens to undermine the impressive activity undertaken at Goodison Park over the last few months.