It was supposed to be the year in which Everton challenged the established order for a place in the Champions League, but after just nine matches their season is in ruins and Ronald Koeman has paid the price with his job.
In spite of the seemingly inevitable departure of Romelu Lukaku to Manchester United, there was great optimism around the club throughout pre-season.
A seventh-place finish last term likely had something to do with that, but so did the fact that Koeman was being seriously backed in the transfer market, as Everton spent a reported £142million, the sort of figure their ambition required.
Yet, with the season a little over two months old, Everton find themselves in turmoil, with few of their initially exciting batch of signings justifying their respective price tags.
As Koeman departs with Everton in the relegation zone and bottom of their Europa League group, we examine which of their signings from the last transfer window have failed to impress.
2005-06 - Their total of eight points is Everton's worst tally after nine games of a Premier League season since 2005-06 (4). Dismissed. pic.twitter.com/Df19c0tBG5— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) October 23, 2017
After emerging as one of the Premier League's best young goalkeepers, Everton agreed a £30m deal with Sunderland for Pickford and he has been one few bright points for the Toffees so far this term.
His performance in Sunday's 5-2 defeat to Arsenal – the game which ultimately cost Koeman his job – highlighted how much worse off they would be with a poorer goalkeeper, as he made several crucial saves and still could not prevent a hammering.
10 - #EVEARS has seen more shots on target than any other Premier League game before half-time this season (10). Busy.— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) October 22, 2017
Another expensive English signing, Keane joined having already played for England during his time at Burnley, with Manchester United reportedly keen on bringing him back to Old Trafford before Everton swooped.
However, he has really struggled in Everton’s shaky backline, rarely showing the confidence he did regularly at Turf Moor.
The signing of Martina raised a few eyebrows when it was announced, as he arrived on a free transfer having had very little impact in two years at Southampton.
His move has hardly been a calamity considering he did not cost anything, but he has often been identified as a weakness in his fleeting appearances.
Koeman's compatriot arrived with a big reputation after scoring 27 times across his last two league campaigns with Ajax, but he has looked well off the pace so far in England.
Slow, unimposing and generally poor, the £24m signing has had almost no impact in his four Premier League appearances and is looking like a pretty expensive flop.
Signed fairly late on in the transfer window after impressing against Everton in the Europa League for Hajduk Split, Vlasic has certainly shown a few glimpses of talent since joining for around £9.5m.
The Croatia attacking midfielder has ability on the ball, plays with urgency and has an eye for a pass, and looks to be a solid piece of business at the age of 20.
The marquee signing supporters had been demanding for months, Sigurdsson became Everton's club-record signing at £45m after a brilliant season for Swansea City in which he scored nine and set up another 13 in the league.
He was supposed to be the creative spark, the big-name player to lead Everton's charge to the top four, but in eight league matches the Iceland international is yet to score or set up a goal. So far, there can be little doubt that Sigurdsson has been one of their biggest disappointments.
A 14-goal LaLiga haul for Malaga coupled with his inviting release clause of £5.25m made Sandro a target for several top clubs in Spain and England, as Everton snapped him up on a four-year deal.
But, after 11 appearances in all competitions, he is still searching for his first goal. His lack of pace has looked problematic on occasion, as has Everton's stunted creativity. A return to Spain before next season would surprise few.
7 - Everton have scored the same number of Premier League goals this season that former striker Romelu Lukaku on his own (7). Irreplaceable. pic.twitter.com/V5N2lJeYA4— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) October 23, 2017
The prodigal son returned in pre-season after 13 years at Manchester United and, while it is easy to forget that he simply is not player he was, Rooney has at least made a relative impact.
Two goals in August – including one in the 1-1 draw at Manchester City – secured half their total of eight points at the time of Koeman's sacking, while his stunner against Arsenal makes him their top scorer on four. He has by no means been electric, but four in nine is not a bad return for a side in the bottom three.
|Rangers score four runs in ninth to pick up walk-off win over Rockies|
|U.S. Open champion Koepka happy to continue being ´overlooked´|
|Pogba: I´m the most criticised player in the world|
|Maradona: Sampaoli´s game plan against Iceland was a disgrace|
|De Gea will bounce back from error – Marchena|
|Slater named for Maroons return|
|Woods, Faldo, Harrington and Koepka – U.S. Open champion joins fine club after successful defence|
|Fleetwood positive despite falling short at U.S. Open|
|Jesus: I had no reason to play for a penalty|
|Hernandez admits to exaggerating fouls against Australia|
|Koepka says winning two U.S. Opens not even in his ´wildest dreams´|
|Hernandez: Griezmann an idol at Atletico|
|Sri Lanka take charge despite Gabriel exploits|
|U.S. Open final-round timeline: How clinical Koepka kept his crown|
|Koepka fights off challengers to successfully defend U.S. Open title|
|´Aching´ Neymar urges referees to intervene|
|BREAKING NEWS: Koepka holds on to defend U.S. Open title|
|Lozano goal causes artificial earthquake in Mexico|
|Djokovic: Mental battle will be Murray´s biggest|
|Hummels criticises Germany tactics in Mexico loss|
|Brazil the latest favourites to stumble, but Tite and Neymar won´t panic|
|Magnificent Fleetwood matches U.S. Open record with closing 63|
|Brazil 1 Switzerland 1: Zuber pegs back below-par Selecao|
|Warrington hold off Wakefield fightback, Tigers held despite Hitchcox heroics|
|Germany follow trend of poor starts for World Cup champions|
|Reed on the charge as U.S. Open race hots up|
|Milinkovic-Savic can play for any team in Europe, says Crespo|
|Southgate keen to unleash his bold new England|
|Konta fumes as Barty takes Nottingham title|
|Kante hails Pogba´s match-winning contribution|
|Germany struggle with generation gap|
|Neymar to make first competitive start since February in Brazil´s World Cup opener|
|Kane gunning for Ronaldo hat-trick heroics in England opener|
|Balotelli would fit in at Marseille - Raiola|
|Captain Ki happy to get tough on South Korea|
|Senegal call up Mbengue with Ciss ruled out|
|Mickelson celebrates at scene of Saturday meltdown|
|Germany 0 Mexico 1: Lozano stuns woeful reigning champions|
|Chandimal to face hearing after pleading not guilty to ball tampering|
|Griezmann ´must do more´, says Deschamps|
|Gasquet shows his class on grass to end Chardy´s chances|
|Courtois: Belgium outsiders not World Cup favourites|
|You can´t compare Ronaldo and Messi – Adrien Silva|
|Kiwis name seven uncapped players for England Test|
|Lorenzo tells critics: Remember MotoGP wins next time I struggle|
|Maaloul singles out ´future of English football´ Alli as main threat|
|Poland v Senegal: Nawalka waits on Glik|
|All Blacks draft in Riccitelli and Hemopo, Barrett not risked for third Test|
|Palermo to appeal play-off result after ´illegal game´|
|Once a year is not enough! - Alonso loved Le Mans bow|
|Colombia v Japan: Kawashima eager to right the wrongs of 2014|
|Russia v Egypt: Salah poised to derail hosts´ juggernaut|
|South Korea swapping kit numbers to confuse Sweden|
|Neuer, Ozil start for Germany in World Cup opener|
|Costa Rica and Serbia serve up plenty of the spectacular in sunny Samara|
|Alonso edges closer to ´Triple Crown´ with Le Mans glory|
|Costa Rica 0 Serbia 1: Kolarov stunner seals points|
|Belgium are better than Argentina – Gomez and Panama ignoring Iceland result|
|Messi, Ronaldo or Neymar would keep the goal - Evra defends Pogba|
|Two in a row for dominant Lorenzo in Barcelona|
|Maradona denies racism claim|
|Resilient Krunic breaks Tour duck|
|Federer wins Stuttgart Open on his return|
|Injured Vunipola to miss England´s series finale in South Africa|
|Ibrahimovic not involved in Sweden´s World Cup plans, insists Andersson|
|Sri Lanka captain Chandimal charged with ball tampering|
|Portugal will not underestimate Morocco, vows Adrien Silva|
|Messi is not Maradona, he does not win a World Cup alone - Crespo|
|Hourcade resigns after Pumas´ series defeat|
|Second place is worthless - Rivaldo admits pressure is on Neymar and Brazil|