Having served Manchester United with such distinction for four years, it came as somewhat of a surprise when, along with Mark Hughes and Paul Ince, Sir Alex Ferguson decided to sell the Andrei Kanchelskis during the summer of 1995.
As expected, there was a clamour for his signature, including a reported approach from his former United teammate Bryan Robson, who was the manager of Middlesbrough.
By chance, his debut for the Toffees came against his former employers, but Kanchelskis would last only a few minutes when following a challenge with Lee Sharpe, he landed awkwardly, dislocating his shoulder in the process.
However, upon his return, the right winger went about repaying the fee and ended up as the club's leading goalscorer with 16 - a haul that included a brace against rivals Liverpool at Anfield.
He was also in positive form in front of goal when Everton made the trip to Sheffield Wednesday 18 years ago today. It would have been a tightly contested encounter at Hillsborough, with goals for the hosts being scored by David Hirst and Marc Degryse, while Daniel Amokachi and John Ebbrell weighed in for the visitors.
Yet, it was Kanchelskis's influence that sealed all three points for Everton. He scored his first of the afternoon in the 21st minute when his trademark pace took him away from the home defenders. Then, with Kevin Pressman to beat, he slotted the ball into the net.
His second goal, scored with 54 minutes on the clock, saw him inherit possession just inside the Everton half. Having weaved his way to the edge of the Wednesday penalty area, his low effort could only be parried over the line by Pressman.
Eleven minutes later he completed his hat-trick, albeit not in usual textbook Kanchelskis fashion. David Unsworth picked him out 25 yards from goal and despite the ball falling on to his weaker left foot, he was able to guide his effort inside Pressman's near post.
SHEFF WED: Pressman; Nicol, Atherton, Walker; Briscoe, Blinker, Degryse, Sheridan, Pembridge; Whittingham, Hirst
EVERTON: Southall, Unsworth, Hottiger, Short, Watson; Ebbrell, Stuart, Grant, Kanchelskis; Amokachi, Branch