If reports out of Italy are to be believed, Everton might be close to sealing the first deal from their all-encompassing trip to Italy.
Everton have matched AC Milan’s asking price for out of favour striker M’Baye Niang, sources have exclusively told calciomercato.com. Everton have made an offer close to € 18 million which is just as much as AC Milan demand to let the French striker leave the San Siro on a permanent deal.
22 years old, Niang spent the second half of 2016/17 on loan at Watford, where he could never truly find his footing. Between spells in Italy and England this season, the Frenchman scored 5 goals to go along with 4 assists in 34 appearances.
We’ve made no secret here that Everton need multiple forwards this offseason to replace the outgoing Romelu Lukaku. Here’s the thing, though - M’Baye Niang’s career has, so far, been an exercise in futility. He has had spells at five clubs in five years - Caen, Montpellier, AC Milan, Genoa, and Watford.
Niang has never scored more than 5 goals in a season, and while on loan at Watford, he scored 0.1 open-play goals per 90 minutes. He averaged 3.4 unsuccessful dribbles per 90, while only shooting from inside the penalty area 0.9 times a game with the Hornets.
By all accounts, M’baye Niang has bucketfuls of talent, but has yet to put it all together. Everton cannot afford to simultaneously be ambitious domestically and in Europe while splashing the cash on what looks incredibly likely to be a high-profile bust in the vein of Oumar Niasse (who the Blues already own, by the way).
Frankly, M’Baye Niang is bad at football. Everton just rid themselves of Darron Gibson and Arouna Kone. Contrary to appearances, there’s no bad footballer quota. Everton would do well to run away from this deal as fast as possible.