Experience shows us that forming opinions on players without seeing them first-hand can leave faces splattered with egg.
Some arrive with great fanfare but fail to live up to the hype, others prove surprise hits having been unheralded pick ups.
Chris Iwelumo? How about Matty McNeil. The £100,000 splashed on Gregg Blundell? Let's have Jon Walters on a free. And ask older fans about the record fees spent on Barney Daniels and Steve Ludlam, and then non-league bargains Barry Butler and Graham Abel.
Of course certain signings capture fans' imagination more than others and it's not unfair to suggest this week's loan swoop for Danny Hattersley hasn't set pulses racing.
But while the reaction has been less than favourable, this could be a shrewd move.
Hattersley has a point to prove
It's not a deal that has been rushed through. Chester FC manager Steve Burr has been admired the 23-year-old for some time and first approached FC Halifax Town more than a month ago.
His record this season does not instill confidence but Burr, as managers should, has looked past that and remembers the centre forward who caught his eye for Stockport County and Southport.
Halifax fans have been quick to celebrate his departure but there are factors that should be taken into account.
His move to West Yorkshire coincided with the beginning of the end for Neil Aspin and the Shaymen finished last season on a dreadful run of one win from 15 games.
Things went from bad to worse at the start of this season, particularly for Hattersley. England C international Jordan Burrow's arrival and subsequent 12 goals have seen Hattersley spend most of the season on the bench.
He comes to Chester with a point to prove.
Move was a no-brainer for both parties
Burr will hope the switch brings about a return to form for the targetman. The form that prompted Stockport, Southport and Halifax to shell out transfer fees for him.
At the age of 23 there's almost certainly more to come and his goal return elsewhere has been very respectable but while that's important, it's the impact he could have on those around him that could be more telling.
Chester have at times lacked someone willing to rough up defences and offer a focal point. Craig Hobson can do it when on song, but that's not been often enough this season.
Hattersley will do that. He will provide an outlet when the defence needs to get rid, he'll hold the ball up, chase down lost causes and ease the burden on Ross Hannah.
He will also give Burr the option to move to a 4-4-2 formation with a traditional little and large pairing, which should benefit Hannah more than the current shape.
There's no guarantees in football and no telling how things will work out but from Chester's perspective the move was a no-brainer and the same can be said for Hattersley.
He will know how good an opportunity this could be for him. Whether he takes it remains to be seen but if he does there'll be a few doubters wiping their faces.