David Moyes will reflect on what might have been when Charlie Adam emerges from the players' tunnel at Goodison Park ahead of this lunchtime's Merseyside derby.
Adam cost Liverpool about a quarter of what they paid for Andy Carroll yet the Scottish midfielder's valuation still proved way beyond Everton's reach.
Not even Kenny Moyes, who serves as Adam's agent, could help his brother, a long-term admirer of the Scottish midfielder, as the 25-year-old completed a £9m move from Blackpool to Anfield in the summer.
No wonder the 216th Merseyside derby is being billed as a match between the haves and the have-nots. While Kenny Dalglish has been allowed to spend in excess of £100m since returning to Anfield's dugout in January, Moyes has seen the likes of Mikel Arteta and Steven Pienaar leave Goodison.
"I was interested in him [Adam] a while back," said Moyes ahead of his 21st Merseyside derby since being appointed Everton's manager in March 2002. "I couldn't afford him and I couldn't afford my brother's wages either! I think Charlie Adam really came to the fore after he made his move to Blackpool. I thought it was a great move for him.
"In a way it resurrected his career because he had bobbled around. But he went to Blackpool, did really well for them and deservedly got his move."
Adam is just one in a long line of players Moyes would like to have signed, but has not had the financial resources to do so. Yet the fact he is set to line up against his side instead of for them illustrates the vast financial gulf between Liverpool and Everton. Three points might be all that separates the two sides in the table, but their budgets are worlds apart.
"I think it will be difficult," said Moyes, when asked whether he believed Everton could compete with Liverpool on an equal financial footing again. "Liverpool have got a great brand. Liverpool have had much money to spend and good finances. Maybe not as much as Manchester City or Chelsea, but I would bet it's as much as anyone else.
"You cannot say that they have not had it because I think they have. I felt we were getting closer to them. I felt as though we had a good team last season. But you just have to get on with it."