When the transfer window shut on Thursday, Marco Silva's biggest frustration may well have been over Everton's inability to land a replacement for Kurt Zouma following his impressive loan spell at Goodison Park last season.
The Liverpool Echo reported that bringing Zouma back for a second spell was a priority for the Toffees, but they ultimately admitted defeat in their pursuit of the centre-back in the final hours of the transfer window.
But within a few days, it no longer looks to be quite the major setback for Everton to miss out on Zouma. Silva's men kept a clean sheet away at Crystal Palace on Saturday, and the France international endured a miserable start to the campaign with Chelsea the following day.
Zouma was named in Frank Lampard's starting lineup for their trip to Old Trafford, and it proved to be a nightmare afternoon for the 24-year-old, who conceded a penalty with a clumsy challenge and was at the heart of a defence that conceded four goals.
Some Everton fans on Twitter have suggested that his performance highlights that the Toffees may have dodged a bullet by not splashing the cash on the defender to bring him back to Merseyside on a permanent basis.
Others meanwhile, have joked that Zouma may have one eye on what it will take to secure a January move to Everton, and the performance was a clever way to start paving the way towards getting that switch back to Silva's side when the next window opens.
Here is how some of the fans reacted to Zouma's performance against Manchester United...
Bet Zouma is literally begging Marco on the phone right now to pick him up and take him to Finch farm— Adam (@adxmEFC) August 11, 2019
Wait so Zouma isn't the greatest defender in the history of football now? Who knew eh?— Andy Adlen (@AdlenEFC) August 11, 2019
Kurt Zouma chucking his ticket in live on TV because he didn’t get his dream move to Everton!! What a time to be alive— Matthew Barry (@EFCMatt1) August 11, 2019
Zouma doing his best to get Everton into that top 6 here— Matty Arnold (@MattyArnoldEFC) August 11, 2019
Poor Zouma is having a shocker.. should of come back lad #EFC— Rob Wright (@Rob08Wright) August 11, 2019
Agent Zouma making 6th easier to get when he arrives in Jan #efc— Chris Rumsey (@the_rumster) August 11, 2019
Have something to tell us about this article?