With prominent relegation fears extinguished in just a few weeks by new manager Sam Allardyce, Everton can once again focus on higher climbs and attempt to showcase their ambition in a less haphazard fashion in the January transfer window.
A lack of joined-up thinking in the summer combined with the failure to replace Romelu Lukaku put paid to the Toffees' Champions League dream in a matter of weeks. The bulk of the recruitment drive that saw almost £150m plunged into the squad has not reaped copious dividends so far, but Allardyce has at least steadied the ship that at one stage looked in danger of sailing towards the Championship.
The former England manager is determined to be more than a quick fix at Everton, and was ensured that he would be given funds to improve the squad next month and perhaps help his side reclaim their place in the top seven.
What they need
Despite scoring a similar amount of goals as they plundered last season, Everton need an adequate replacement for Romelu Lukaku. The Belgian was of vital importance to the Toffees during his four years on Merseyside, and while Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Oumar Niasse have admirably stepped into the breach this season, the Manchester United forward's absence is still being felt at Goodison.
Defensive reinforcements are also of high importance to Everton. With the ageing and currently Leighton Baines the only specialist left-back available to Allardyce at the moment, an alternative and prospective replacement for the 33-year-old is one of the former England manager's priorities for next month.
With Ashley Williams and Phil Jagielka in the twilight of their careers and doubts over the long-term future of Ramiro Funes Mori, a new centre-half would go down a treat, too. Whether Everton can fill all of these problem positions is another story.
Who could join?
Borussia Dortmund forward Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has been linked with an unlikely £60m move to Merseyside, while a switch for Arsenal forward Olivier Giroud could be rekindled with the Frenchman open to leaving north London in search of regular football, though any transfer could be unlikely due to the severity of the striker's hamstring injury.
At the other end, Allardyce has perhaps unsurprisingly been linked with a move for Crystal Palace left-back Patrick van Aanholt, while director of football Steve Walsh and chief scout Martyn Glover recently took a trip to France to run the rule over Adama Soumaoro. Other names to be linked are Cenk Tosun, Theo Walcott and Steven N'Zonzi, a player very much of interest to Allardyce, who rubbished talk of a move for Sunderland's Lamine Kone.
Who could leave?
Wantaway midfielder Ross Barkley has been linked with moves to Tottenham Hotspur and Chelsea, but it remains to be seen whether the two London clubs follow through on their interest in the 24-year-old next month or wait to sign him on a free transfer in the summer.
Sandro Ramirez has been heavily linked with a move back to Spain with La Liga outfits Malaga and Valencia both keen on the former Barcelona starlet. James McCarthy has also been rumoured with an exit, with Crystal Palace said to be keen on the Republic of Ireland international.
What the manager has said
"I have to say it [signing a new striker] is a priority. If we achieve anything going forward to get into the top half, we need at least two players to score 10 goals or more," Allardyce said.
"If you can't get one who can score 20, which is a very difficult task, you have to get one or two in who can get between 10 and 15. In all fairness, I stayed in the Premier League with Jermain Defoe scoring 18 at Sunderland and Christian Benteke scoring 16 at Crystal Palace.
"There is a certain amount of goals you need to finish 10th, around the 50-goal mark. So how do we get those?"