It will be of no consolation for David Moyes that as he prepares to spend the final week of the transfer window scrambling around for new signings he was in a similar position just 12 months ago.
The Everton manager will never be thought of in similar terms to renowned wheeler-dealers Harry Redknapp and Sam Allardyce but for the second year running has been forced into a position where he has to push through late deals, following Joleon Lescott's £24m move to Manchester City.
At least the England defender's departure has brought an end to part of the uncertainty that has surrounded Goodison Park, which has not been helped by a 6-1 defeat to Arsenal and a 1-0 reverse at Burnley in their opening two Premier League matches.
Although it remains unclear whether Moyes will see all of the Lescott money, with a week remaining before the transfer deadline, he is finally making some progress in adding players to his squad, which is still without Mikel Arteta, Phil Jagielka, Yakubu and Victor Anichebe through long-term injuries.
The Russian midfielder Diniyar Bilyaletdinov looks set to arrive in a £9m deal from Lokomotiv Moscow in the next 48 hours after talks between the two clubs in Hamburg last night and Moyes is also closing on a season-long loan deal for Valencia's Ever Banega after receiving a work permit for the Argentine midfielder.
But, having sold Lescott, and with Jagielka out until November with a knee injury, it is defensively where Moyes desperately needs new recruits. Phil Neville had to fill in at centre-back at Turf Moor on Sunday and Moyes will acknowledge that rapidly bringing in quality at the right price will prove much harder.
The City captain Richard Dunne, who started his career at Goodison Park, is unlikely to be happy with his prospects of regular football at Eastlands following the arrivals of Lescott and Kolo Touré and could be available, while Moyes is also considering a number of others.
He has enquired about Newcastle's Steven Taylor and although the player wants to stay in the North-east, he accepts that the Championship club's financial position may mean he is forced to leave. Bolton's Gary Cahill and Middlesbrough's David Wheater could be out of Everton's price range and Moyes' interest in Philippe Senderos has cooled since talks with Arsenal earlier this month. Another Boro defender, Robert Huth, may also be on the move, while West Ham's Matthew Upson and Stoke's Ryan Shawcross are other possible targets.
Although he would never admit it, it must all be enormously frustrating for Moyes, who guided Everton to fifth place last season despite a summer of turmoil the previous year. After finishing fifth in 2007-08, Everton were ready to challenge for the Champions League once again despite key men struggling with long-term injuries.
But the late release of funds meant that Moyes was restricted to the £15m purchase of Marouane Fellaini and short-term deals or loans for Louis Saha, Lars Jacobsen, Carlo Nash and Segundo Castillo in the final week before the deadline.
To make matters worse this time around, in Lescott, Moyes is having to replace a player who has been key to establishing Everton in the Premier League's top five.
Having beaten Sigma Olomouc 4-0 in the first leg of their Europa League play-off, Thursday's trip to the Czech Republic should offer some respite and Tony Hibbert is also looking forward to some new additions.
The defender said: "Seeing new faces gives everyone a lift and it keeps us all on our toes and I'm sure the manager is working hard to do that. We will miss Joleon. He is a good lad and on the pitch he is a brilliant footballer; he has shown that in his displays for us but players come and players go and we'll move on." There is no doubt that Moyes will do the same, but it will not be easy.Reuse content