They say you should never go back. Davy Klaassen may disagree.
Because, since returning to his spiritual home in the summer of 2020, the Ajax academy graduate has been a man reborn, playing the best football of his career at the Johan Cruyff Arena.
In fact, Klaassen 2.0 is proving to be even more influential than the first iteration of a man who has now claimed four Eredivisie titles across two spells in Amsterdam.
And as Klaassen dovetailed beautifully with Memphis Depay during a 6-1 thrashing of Turkey on Tuesday night – Louis van Gaal’s Netherlands side looking so much better than the one that crashed out of Euro 2020 under Frank de Boer – we’d love to know what Sam Allardyce made of all this.
With one of the most unpopular managers in Goodison Park history bowing down at Wayne Rooney’s ageing feet, Klaassen had little choice but to call time on his short-lived Everton career, leaving Goodison Park after just 12 months and three Premier League starts.
Did we mention that Everton made a £10 million loss on a man who, like new £25 million West Ham star Nikola Vlasic, was never given a run of games in royal blue?
Should Everton have kept hold of Davy Klaassen?
Either way, Klaassen’s outstanding first-half performance against a beleaguered Turkey side felt like a reminder of what Everton could have had if they had shown a little more faith, a little more patience, in a man who just needed a run of games a little time to get up to speed.
Klaassen scored the first goal in a 6-1 thrashing last night – and in some style.
A brilliant backheel played in Memphis Depay and, after receiving a return pass, a man who scored 15 club goals last season slid an inch-perfect finish into the far corner with just 54 seconds on the clock.
Klaassen would then return the favour later in the first-half, a stunning first-time pass flicked over his shoulder sending Depay through for a finish he was never going to miss – the first of a clinical hat-trick.
Maybe Manchester United can learn something from Klaassen’s revival. Just because a talented attacking midfielder has thrived at Ajax, that does not mean he will make an immediate impact in a much tougher league.
Sometimes, patience really is a virtue.