Tyias Browning was a man in demand, putting his name to two deals with the transfer deadline looming.
The 22-year-old defender joined Preston North End on loan for the rest of the season – but only after signing a new contract with Everton.
So both his short-term and longer-term future was sorted in a couple of strokes of the pen.
Browning agreed the new Everton on Monday morning before heading to Preston to shake hands on the loan move and meet his new team-mates.
Training was done on the Deepdale pitch then it was on to the coach to travel to South Wales for Tuesday night’s clash with Cardiff.
Browning had the move to North End endorsed by his Everton Under-23s coach David Unsworth, once of this parish.
Unsworth, who held the positions of youth-team coach, first-team coach and caretaker manager at PNE, felt this was the right sort of challenge for him.
“He told me this was a big club who would make me feel very welcome,” said Browning.
“Unsy really enjoyed it here and his advice was to go and enjoy it too.
“He gave me a lot of advice and thinks this club will fit me well and I’ll get a lot of game-time.
“I’m excited to be getting started.
“I had known about the interest from Preston and a couple of other clubs since the start of the month.
“A lot of the staff at Everton had nothing but good things to say about Preston so I wanted to come here.
“It has taken a little while to get everything done but I always knew I would end up getting it sorted.”
Browning came through Everton’s academy, joining them when he was 10.
He got his first-team chance as a teenager and it was a debut to remember, coming on as a substitute in the derby with Liverpool at Anfield in September 2014.
The following week, he got a run-out as a substitute against Manchester United at Old Trafford. He played six more games the following campaign and was again involved in the Merseyside derby – this time he started it.
His career got put on hold for the best part of a year by a serious knee injury suffered in a Lancashire Senior Cup tie against Blackburn.
Browning has been back playing this season in the Toffees’ Under-23 side, with the move to North End all about getting involved at first-team level again.
“It is time to play, I need to start getting some regular games and make an impact,” said Browning.
“League football is completely different to Under-23s football.
“It is a big step, one I need to adapt to and put some good performances in.”
With Marnick Vermijl nursing a hernia and Alex Baptiste recovering from a knee injury, the right-back slot is one which Browning will initially compete for.
However, he is just at home playing in the centre of defence.
Said Browning: “I made my first-team debut at right-back and played a couple of games there.
“I will do a job there – I do prefer centre-back but I’m happy to play anywhere. Versatility is something which comes in handy.
“A lot of managers have different formations – the manager at Everton changes things at the back sometimes.”
Browning watched Preston’s 1-1 draw with Ipswich Town at the weekend and enjoyed what he saw.
Now he cannot wait to swap his seat in the stand for some action on the pitch.
“It will be nice to get my first taste of things at Cardiff If I’m selected.
“Hopefully I can make a good contribution.
“We should have won against Ipswich – we had a lot of chances.
“Preston looked a good, strong physical team and I think I’ll fit straight in.
“I know Aiden McGeady, who has also come on loan from Everton, and I know a couple of faces from playing against them earlier in my career.”