Oumar Niasse has admitted he feels sympathy towards former Everton boss Ronald Koeman after his dismissal last month.
The 27-year-old striker was informed by the Dutchman that he had no future at the club last season, and was sent on loan to Hull.
But he impressed at the KCOM Stadium, and was brought back into a struggling Everton side in September, scoring twice in a win over Bournemouth.
Niasse has insisted that he has no hard feelings towards Koeman, instead thanking the coach for including him after a long spell on the sidelines.
"I feel sorry for him, what happened to him when the club got rid of him," he said, quoted by Sky Sports.
"Honestly, they were ready to let me go. I was ready also to go because I knew that it would be a difficult season if I stayed here but at the end I didn't go.
"I said thank you to him because he could have said 'no, you are staying with the U23s' but when I came back he brought me back to the team. That has allowed me to be here today."
Everton face Crystal Palace on Saturday as they look to distance themselves from the relegation zone. Niasse came close to a move to Selhurst Park in the summer, but the proposed deal fell through at the last minute.
"It was a difficult day, that night when I went there, to have everything about to sign," he added.
"Just one hour before the window closed I didn't sign. They know why, I know why, I'm not going to go deep on that.
"I'm feeling thankful and happy to go back to Everton. Now it is a different challenge, we are in a not good position. They are worse but it is going to be a difficult game."