The price tag for Emiliano Martinez started at one figure – and kept going up.
Aston Villa's long-standing interest in the keeper was not being helped by every appearance the Argentine was making for Arsenal in the Premier League.
What had started out as a £10m fee for the Gunners' hopeful a couple of months after 2020 dawned had morphed into something altogether different by the time the club completed the deal.
After mounting a serious stake to Bernd Leno's jersey and also playing a starring role under Mikel Arteta, the shot-stopper had added value to his transfer value – and with Villa having kicked-off their due diligence on the keeper months previously, plenty of work had already been undertaken.
Every single one of Martinez's polished 90 minutes was vindication of Villa's judgement. Mind you, it cost them.
What price now, however, for a keeper who would surely finish second behind Jack Grealish if the player-of-the-year gongs were handed out now at Villa Park?
As Jamie Carragher correctly pointed out this week, 'the goalkeeper has made a massive difference' – bringing to an end a search for a regular number one that the club could rely upon.
Villa had pinned their hopes on Tom Heaton. But the knee ligament injury suffered by the former England number one had left boss Dean Smith with an awkward dilemma.
Did he wait for the former Burnley man – who himself had a hugely positive impact since arriving from Turf Moor for £8m – or not?
Smith decided to press the button – and the move went ahead as Gunners' boss Mikel Arteta made his choice.
It was a shame for Heaton – and, to a lesser extent, Jed Steer – that Martinez's stock has risen, bringing closure down upon a position that has never been filled convincingly since first Brad Friedel and then Brad Guzan assumed the role under Martin O'Neill.
But then a look through the wreckage of past choices, Pierluigi Gollini and Lovre Kalinic were two who tried – and failed - to convince.
Smith hasn't always showered those who guard Villa's goal with praise. Reporters who knew him from his days at Walsall maintain that his two stand-out public gripes are firstly with officialdom – referees were never far from his firing line – and secondly with goalkeepers who, despite sometimes being worthy of kind words, perhaps didn't receive them.
But the importance of being in front of a good one, the former Orient and Hereford United centre-half would have long recognised.
And it would have been Smith who pushed the button on the deal. Martinez's back story would not have been lost upon Villa's boss.
The hopeful left home at the age of 12 to live in digs in Buenos Aires provided for him by his first club, Independiente.
After playing for Argentina's Under-17s, he was contacted by Arsenal, called into the stadium by the club's president and told he would be sold to finance the re-build of the stadium.
His mother and brother were in tears. His father was struggling financially. For the second time, he was wrenched away.
After ten years of progressing through the ranks at the Emirates, Martinez believed he had earned the right to be the Gunners' number one. That's why the club's victory in the FA Cup final over Chelsea last year received an emotional response after the final whistle.
The struggle was over. In fact, it wasn't. Leno would return as the club's number one. Villa had their chance. And took it.
Around Villa Park, the staff speak of a man who is happy to help. Everyone. Whether it is because of past experiences or not, Martinez will go the extra mile. Both in training and with club staff, be they associated to the academy or first-team.
But it's out on the pitch where it matters.
Out of Villa's dozen victories in the Premier League, all but one of them have come when the club scored first. And they didn't concede. Eleven shut-outs.
The only one that didn't follow the pattern was the 7-2 drubbing of Liverpool.
While Ezri Konsa is now being talked of as having England potential and Tyrone Mings already sporting the Three Lions, the third strand of that important triangle has solved a nagging problem at Villa Park.
And, who knows, one day he might even earn himself a few more words of praise from his boss...