The Barcelona defender was linked with a summer switch to Everton.
As reported by the Sun back in the summer - and later confirmed by the player himself - Ronald Koeman wanted to bring Thomas Vermaelen to Everton during the last transfer window, but would the defender have eased or exacerbated the Toffees' problems?
After all, the Belgian international is not exactly the picture of consistency, with injuries blighting his career and the player managing just 34 club appearances since leaving Arsenal in 2014.
As good as he can be on his day, those days are few and far between, and Vermaelen could have spent more time on the side-lines than in the Everton side if he had completed his switch.
What Everton needed was consistency from their best players, not more uncertainty as to who would actually be starting in a first-choice XI.
Hindsight is a wonderful thing in football and, given Koeman's fate, it could be argued that having a player of Vermaelen's calibre would have done him no harm.
But one wonders if the Belgian would have in fact been yet another flop left behind for the new manager to deal with; a player well past his best who would have prevented the next wave of talent from coming through at Everton as so many of the club's expensive but under-performing summer recruits have done themselves.