It seemed almost everyone at Everton had written off Oumar Niasse. The striker became the third most expensive player in the club’s history when he arrived from Lokomotiv Moscow for £13.5 million in January 2016 but, after a sluggish start to his Toffees career, it appeared he had no future at Goodison Park.
Niasse infamously told The Guardian last October that manager Ronald Koeman had stripped him of a squad number and a locker, not to mention forcing him to play with the reserves, in order to force him out of Merseyside.
The Senegalese striker did not play a single minute under Koeman before being farmed out to Hull City for the second half of 2016/17. At the time, few would have expected that Niasse would still be at Everton – let alone their top Premier League goalscorer this season with five strikes in nine games.
So perhaps Niasse’s unexpected revival should give Everton food for thought as speculation intensifies that Sandro Ramirez could be allowed to leave after just six league games for the club.
The Spanish under-21 star cost Everton just £5.1 million after they triggered his release clause at Malaga, per The Independent. But the former Barcelona youngster, who scored 14 La Liga goals last season, has looked a little lightweight for English football so far and, once David Unsworth took temporary charge, found himself omitted from the matchday squad on numerous occasions.
Sandro did take his chance, quite literally, by scoring in Everton’s humiliating 5-1 Europa League defeat against Atalanta last week, however. And Unsworth, per the Liverpool Echo, suggested that Sandro is far from a lost cause at Goodison.
It should be too early to write the striker off just yet. As Niasse proves, a slow start isn’t necessarily fatal.