Why Everton Should Hang On To Oumar Niasse Next Season
Oumar Niasse is a bit of a forgotten man in and around the Goodison Park. The 27-year old Senegalese striker joined Everton in the winter transfer window of 2016 – the last signing under former boss Roberto Martinez, from Russian club Lokomotiv Moscow for a fee of £13.5 million. But things have hardly gone according to plans for the striker.
In the second half of the 2015/16 season, Niasse made 7 appearances for the Toffees, but couldn’t find the back of the net even once. A poor season that culminated in a 12th-placed finish led to the dismissal of Roberto Martinez at the end of the season and Ronald Koeman was brought into the fold to galvanise things ahead of the 2016/17 season.
After having endured a rough start to life in the Premier League, things worsened further for Niasse as he was completely shunned out of the first team by the new manager. The 27-year old was forced to train with the reserves and was made to represent the reserve side in the Premier League2. He impressed there scoring 7 times in 5 games, but there was no way back for the Senegalese into the first team picture and as a result, he was shipped out on loan to Hull City in January this year.
On joining the Tigers, Niasse once again demonstrated his goal-scoring abilities and managed to find the back of the net 5 times in 18 games. While those are not great returns, when one considers that he was frozen out of action for more than 4 months, it does represent a marked improvement. However, he was not able to save the Tigers from relegation.
Now Niasse has returned to the Goodison after Hull decided not to sign him on a permanent deal. So what do Everton do with him now? Should they keep him or offload him for good?
Niasse may not have been able to hit the ground running in England, but his goal-scoring abilities are well documented. Before moving to Everton, the 27-year old had managed to score a total of 13 goals and had set up 10 more in the first half of the 2015/16 campaign for Lokomotiv in 23 appearances. Four of these 13 goals had come in the UEFA Europa League from 6 games – indicating that he can deliver on the European stages as well.
Everton will be playing in the Europa League in the upcoming campaign and there are not many players who can claim of having a great deal of experience on the continental level. Moreover, Koeman and the Toffees are very likely to lose star striker Romelu Lukaku in the summer after he refused to sign a new deal with the club.
They will be working hard to sign a replacement for the big Belgian in the summer, no doubt. But considering the attitude Niasse has shown and the signs of form that he showed during his short stint with Hull, it is clear that he has plenty to offer to the club. Considering their involvement in Europe, Everton could make do with numbers in their squad as well.
Hence, Koeman and Everton should be giving Niasse another shot ahead of the next season. From a business point of view as well, it’s not like they will be making a lot of money from his sale at this point of time and the difference between selling him now and in January wouldn’t be a lot. But, if he manages to find his goal-scoring touch again they will benefit from it.