First league goal in 20 months for starlet who rejected Arsenal, Everton and Spurs

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M'Baye Niang has scored on his Ligue 1 debut for Montpellier.

Last summer saw a transfer saga occur for the services of French starlet M’Baye Niang of Caen. Considered the hottest talent in France - he had made his debut for Caen in 2011 - aged 16 - and had attracted attention across Europe.

Arsenal were linked with a move for the player, as were Tottenham Hotspur. Everton were even said to have actually signed him for £2 million.

But in the end Niang moved to AC Milan.

He joined the Rossoneri for an undisclosed fee believed to be in the region of £2 million in August of last year.

Since then his career has taken on a soap opera feel. He was banned from the French national team after discipline problems, banned from driving after being caught without appropriate licensing and did not make the immediate impact he would have hoped in Milan.

In his 18 months in Milan he has scored just the one goal - and scored none in Serie A.

That means his last league goal came for Caen in April 2012 … until last night that is.

He joined Montpellier at the start of the month on a loan deal until the end of the month.

Montpellier are fighting relegation this season and just 18 months after deciding that England was not for him Niang is being tasked with keeping them up.

Last night was not a bad start. In his first Ligue 1 appearance for the club since the move Niang bagged an equaliser at home to title chasing AS Monaco.

OK, so it was far from a straightforward goal - as he followed up his poor penalty to smash the ball home - but they all count.

And a few more goals like that might keep his loan team up come the seasons end - and have a few English clubs bristling green with envy.

Here is the scrappy but important goal for club and player…

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