The previous transfer window saw the prayers of Evertonians answered.

Last season was an incredibly tough watch for Blues fans, with the start and the end of the campaign bringing very little to cheer about.

While Marco Silva, it could be argued, created a lot of his own problems, Carlo Ancelotti inherited arguably one of the weakest Everton squads in their Premier League history.

Even though money had been spent by the club in the summer of the 2019, there were still gaping holes that needed to be filled by the time Ancelotti headed for his summer break at the conclusion of the 2019/20 season.

The area that needed the most attention was undoubtedly the midfield. Far too many times last season, the Blues were badly exposed in the middle of the park.

A host of formations and partnerships had been used, first by Silva and then Ancelotti, in a bid to fix the problem.

None seemed to work. That was until the return of Andre Gomes back in February. His impressive performances in the middle of the park gave everyone a lift and showed just how much he had been missed.

But a dismal showing at Chelsea before the suspension of football due to the coronavirus outbreak left fans with plenty to think about.

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And then, even when football returned in June, Everton’s showings on the whole did little to improve to the mood.

But it was during those games that a familiar phrase started to emerge whenever any Everton fan would talk about their side’s problems in the middle of the park.

“He’s doing it on his own in there,” was a saying most fans tended to use to describe just how much Gomes was carrying the Blues.

So as Evertonians celebrated this summer following the arrival of not one, but two central midfielders, Gomes himself must have been pretty satisfied with the club’s transfer business.

Add into the mix the arrival of James Rodriguez, too, it was in many ways the perfect summer of recruitment.

Fans were dreaming of a perfect midfield of Gomes, Abdoulaye Doucoure and Allan, and for four of Everton’s opening five Premier League games of the season, that is exactly what they got.

Four wins and one draw were secured in these games and Everton’s problems in the middle of the pitch appeared to be a distant memory.

But fast forward to now and things appear very different. After a ropy start to November, in which the Blues failed to register a victory, a win was secured against Fulham at the weekend.

However, it was done without Gomes. While Doucoure and Allan took up their roles in Ancelotti’s starting line-up, the former Barcelona man was handed a watching brief.

Although his performances have at times split opinions amongst fans this season, no one would have predicted this at the start of the campaign.

Granted their have been fitness issues, especially given it is just over a year since his horrific leg break against Tottenham, but Ancelotti has already shown this season he has no hesitation in throwing players straight back into his starting line-up when returning from injury.

A dream start to the season it might have been, but Gomes now finds himself on the outside looking in for the first time in his Everton career and is no longer, it appears, one of the first names on his manager's teamsheet.