Thursday, September 20, 2018

Koeman needs to give Oumar Niasse a chance to impress

David Nugent in Editorial, General Soccer News 20 Sep 2017

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The story of Everton’s Senegalese striker Oumar Niasse is a well-publicised one. The former Lokomotiv Moscow star was an outcast last season when Toffees boss Ronald Koeman decided to not even give the striker a locker at the club.

Niasse has reportedly responded well to the snub by working hard in training and has taken it easy on the Dutch boss. Many footballers would have been permanently complaining in the press about their poor treatment. Not Niasse, though.

I believe he has done an interview or two. However, it seems that Niasse’s attitude and Everton’s lack of options has mellowed Koeman’s thoughts on the striker. He has a squad number this season and even a locker.

The striker is yet to make an appearance for the Merseysiders, though. Maybe tonight’s third round Carabao Cup clash at home to Sunderland will be the striker’s chance to shine.

Deserves a chance

Just for his sheer professional attitude alone, Niasse deserves a chance for the Blues. Niasse was once a highly rated striker, who reportedly had the likes of Chelsea and Manchester United scouting him.

In Russia, he was prolific for Lokomotiv Moscow and even won the Russian top-flight’s Player of the Year before his then club-record move to Everton. No doubt, the standard in the Russian Premier League is nowhere near its English counterpart, but he still scored goals.

Last season Niasse impressed in a short loan spell at Hull, despite the Tigers suffering relegation. He has also scored goals for Everton’s under-23 side. The fact that Niasse decided to sit with the Everton fans at Old Trafford on Sunday, despite his omission from the Toffees squad shows his superb attitude.

Surely could not do worse than the current lot

Everton are woefully short of goals at the minute. We all know that Wayne Rooney no longer has the legs to play as a Premier League striker on a regular basis. He can still be a useful asset to the Toffees, but maybe not as the team’s lone striker.

Then the Toffees have youngsters Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Sandro Ramirez. Both are young and just learning their trade. Calvert-Lewin at 20 looks Everton’s best striking option at the moment, but he is yet to score for the Blues this season.

When he has played, he has looked bright. However, the Toffees have struggled to create chances and the central striker has looked isolated.

I have to be honest having watched Sandro in La Liga for Malaga and for the Spanish under-21 team I thought he would be a fantastic signing for Everton. However, the 22-year-old has struggled to adapt to the English game.

The Premier League is completely different to La Liga and the youngster has yet to make an impact. He seems to have potential and when he is accustomed to the English top-flight he may just start fulfilling some of his potential on Merseyside.

However, Everton need goals now and the Spaniard has not looked like scoring them, so the Toffees need an alternative.

Niasse should play against Sunderland

Everton boss Ronald Koeman is as stubborn as most Premier League bosses. However, he is now under major pressure and needs his team to win games. To do so the Toffees need to actually score goals.

Maybe Koeman can put his stubbornness to one side and start with Niasse in tonight’s game. It seems the 27-year-old has a realistic chance of featuring after his omission from the last under-23 squad.

Everton have looked desperately short of attacking threat and Niasse could give them that. In fact, the striker is odds of 11/8 to find the net against the Black Cats on Wednesday night.

Oumar Niasse may not be the best striker in the world, but he may just be the catalyst to kick-start the Toffees flagging campaign and his own career in the process.

Should Oumar Niasse start for Everton against Sunderland?


David Nugent

David is a freelance football writer with nearly a decade of experience writing about the beautiful game. The experienced writer has written for over a dozen websites and also an international soccer magazine offline.
Arguably his best work has come as an editorial writer for Soccernews, sharing his good, bad and ugly opinions on the world’s favourite sport. During David’s writing career he has written editorials, betting previews, match previews, banter, news and opinion pieces.



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