Why it's Time for Ronald Koeman to Bring Oumar Niasse Back in From the Everton Cold

The outcast forward scored his first senior goal for the Toffees, and it's a glimpse of what he can offer a team looking for a star striker to replace Romelu Lukaku.
Publish date:

It was a stunning strike that was taken with the confidence of a 20-goal-a-season frontman.

The chest control, the neat turn and the volleyed right foot effort into the roof of the net resulted in the biggest cheer of the night from the Goodison Park faithful, and yet it was a goal that was fired home by a marksman who has spent the past 18 months out in the cold.

Everton outcast Oumar Niasse's first senior goal for the Toffees - almost two years after he joined in a £13.5m switch from Spartak Moscow - was greeted with an almighty cheer from the assembled Blues in the stands of the Grand Old Lady, and led to a smile as wide as the Mersey being etched across the 27-year-old's face.

That Niasse was mobbed by his team mates after finally ending his first-team exile and subsequent goal drought spoke volumes about the regard he is held in by those he trains alongside.

The reaction from Everton's fanbase about his continued isolation from first-team affairs under boss Ronald Koeman - namely that of bafflement and typically droll scouse humour - also proves that, by working hard, maintaining his dignity and not kicking up a fuss, the Senegal international has slowly won back favour with those who support the Toffees.

With Everton's failure to bring in an experienced, consistent goalscorer to replace Romelu Lukaku this summer, is it time for Koeman to truly to put his pride and stubborness to one side and recall Niasse on a more regular basis?


There's no reason why he shouldn't, and it could prove to be something of a positive climb down if the legendary Dutchman does so.

Make no bones about it: Everton require further firepower to prevent their season from continually spluttering, and Niasse could be the man capable of providing the goals.

Everton have decent options up top, but they are just that and more is required to provide competition for places, goals to replace those lost from Lukaku's sale and another arrow in the Blues' attacking quiver.

Dominic Calvert-Lewin is a great prospect but still raw enough that his edges need ironing out. Sandro Ramirez, too, needs time to fully adapt to the physical rigours of English football.

Wayne Rooney is the best striker on the Toffees' books but, at 31 years of age and his current off-the-field troubles, will need plenty of support to get the best out of him and allow him the odd match off to keep him fresh for tougher matches ahead.

With no other options available, Niasse could prove to be a dark horse choice for Koeman to give serious consideration to.

Despite only making 113 senior appearances throughout his career, Niasse has a handy record of notching 40 goals from those games - just over three matches for every goal racked up.

Nobody is expecting him to suddenly pull up trees and bag hat-tricks every other week, but the odd matchwinning strike against lower Premier League teams and in Europe would be vital to Everton making strides domestically and on the continent.

Niasse has done all he can to prove he is of worth. It's now up to Koeman to recognise he's a viable option and, finally, give him a chance to prove a point 18 months on from his arrival.