Everton failing to grab a striker as the transfer window, followed by Oumar Niasse’s proposed transfer to Crystal Palace subsequently falling through has resulted in the player climbing back into Ronald Koeman’s good graces.
Niasse has been assigned the #34 shirt in the squad, and was part of the 25-man list that Everton submitted to the Premier League this evening. He has previously worn the #14 during the second half of the 2015-16 season when was signed in January by Roberto Martinez. Koeman had declined to give him a number last season, before the player was loaned out to Hull City.
The Toffees are pretty thin at the out-and-out striker position this season. Wayne Rooney, Sandro Ramirez and Dominic Calvert-Lewin have all rotated through the position and along with Niasse that is about it for the classic number nines in the 25-man squad. Sam Byrne has also been added to the squad and is a striker, but is yet to make his debut for the senior team.
Koeman has said more than once in the lead-up to deadline day that he wanted at least two more players, one of which was a striker. Getting Niasse to play that role is a bit of a comedown considering that names like Diego Costa and Olivier Giroud had been targeted.
There is however a sense of fairness and justice in this with the man who had been denied a locker in the dressing rooms finally getting to train with the senior team. Whatever inflated sense of value Martinez had of the Senegal international, it certainly didn’t justify Koeman harshly treating him like a pariah.
Let’s see now how motivated Niasse will be to prove his detractors wrong, and try win him a legitimate transfer away in January.