If Oumar Niasse has not won over Ronald Koeman by scoring twice in five minutes to inspire Everton’s 2-1 turnaround against Bournemouth on Saturday, then he might as well give up now.
A year after telling the Guardian that he had been stripped of his squad number and even his locker in an attempt to force him out of Goodison Park, Niasse finally opened his Premier League account for The Toffees.
Everton’s failure to adequately replace Romelu Lukaku had left Koeman’s side looking toothless in attack and, when Niasse came off the bench ten minutes into the second period, the Toffees were more than halfway to a fourth league game in a row without scoring.
However, the Senegalese striker cancelled out Josh King’s opener with a lethal finish before turning in the scrappiest of seconds with just eight minutes remaining to send Goodison Park into raptures and ease some of the mounting pressure on his beleaguered boss.
What a way to repay him
Koeman had made it clear on countless occasions that Niasse, signed from Lokomotiv Moscow for £13 million in January 2016, would have to leave Merseyside if he wanted to play football for a living. And, after farming him out to Hull City on loan last season, Niasse would have joined Crystal Palace for £10 million on deadline day if it was not for a disagreement about agent’s fees (The Mail).
Yet, after scoring on his long-awaited first appearance under Koeman in Tuesday’s EFL Cup win against Sunderland, a match-winning brace against Bournemouth should at least encourage the Dutchman to show a little faith in his revived centre-forward.