Everton boss Marco Silva insists Moise Kean remains an important member of his squad and will have all the support he needs as he looks to adapt to life in the Premier League.
The 19-year-old arrived with much fanfare from Juventus in the summer but has struggled to hit top form, failing to score in 11 appearances in all competitions.
Just four of those appearances have been starts, though, which hasn’t helped the youngster’s bedding-in process.
| Moise Kean: Scouser.— Everton (@Everton) November 22, 2019
Let's go training... lad! #EVENOR
He was dropped from the squad entirely for the win at Southampton a fortnight ago after he was late twice for a team meeting.
During the international break there was speculation linking Kean with a return to Serie A, with his estranged father calling for him to return home. Italy boss Roberto Mancini also urged Kean to find regular football if he wanted a spot in his squad for Euro 2020 next summer.
Silva, though, insists the player is not going anywhere and has the full backing of the club as he looks to settle in to life on Merseyside.
Speaking at his pre-Norwich news conference, Silva said:
”Moise has all the support here. we bought him, we believe in him. He has all the support from me, from the club and his team-mates to adapt to the Premier League. He is our present and future.
“What is the most important is what I speak to him directly and everything is so clear for him
“He working really hard, he wants to play. After the Brighton game, where didn’t play, on Sunday morning he was here (Finch Farm) to work really hard and gave me the answer I want.”
Silva insists it is normal for a foreign player to take time to settle in at a new club.
The Portuguese gave the example of Liverpool midfielder Fabinho, who made just five starts in all competitions in the first four months of the 2018-19 season after joining from Monaco.
“He wants to play more like all the players we have. He has had some starts in the Premier League and Carabao Cup.
“There’s many many examples of players who have come to the Premier League and not played. An example not too far from here is Fabinho. He plays a lot in the Liverpool team (now) but for the first six, seven months he didn’t play. And for most of the games he was in the stands.
“The most important thing is to keep teaching him, for him to adapt as fast as he can. We are talking about a talent with quality and he has all the support from myself and my staff and he is working hard to play because that is what he wants.”
Kean did hit the back of the net during the international break, with a brace for Italy U21s against Armenia.
Silva hopes the confidence gained from that performance can be carried over into the Premier League, while also having a dig at journalists by pointing out he scored those goals from the right wing - with Silva’s decision to play him there against Watford last month questioned by many in the media.
“It was really good. Maybe important for some of you (to note) he scored twice (for Italy) from the right wing.
“Most of the games when he goes to the national team he plays there as well.
“Like all players on international duty it was very important for him to score.”
But is that international double enough to earn a starting spot?
“You never know, the 11 we will see tomorrow but he will be in the squad at least.”