Oumar Niasse is averaging a goal every 19 minutes and 40 seconds right now in all competitions of senior football. Let that sink in.
Brilliant run of form for a wonderful guy. And as the person who has been calling for him to start since September 7th, (yep, that’s right, and I took flack for it too; read up here) I am happy to welcome any and all comers onto the Niasse bandwagon. That includes you coach:
Ronald Koeman: "All credit must go to Oumar Niasse because he's waited a long time for his chance." pic.twitter.com/Rr0ZjsmksC— Squawka News (@SquawkaNews) September 23, 2017
I’m beyond excited for Oumar, and while I don’t think a goal per 20 minutes can be sustained (because seriously, no one does that long term) I think there’s a crystal clear explanation for exactly why he’s been so successful. There are two parts to this answer:
This Everton team is good
Everyone in Everton land was in just a wretched state after that United game, and who could blame them? After wins against Sunderland and Bournemouth, nobody’s going to be singing about winning the league, but we’re at least back from the cliffs we were staring longingly at.
Everton spent a lot of money this summer, so there are good pieces out there. Sigurdsson, Schneiderlin, Gueye, Pickford, all quality guys out on the field today who were Koeman signings, not to mention the youth we in Dominic Calvert-Lewin (who has still been Everton’s best overall striker so far this season) Mason Holgate, Tom Davies who came on with Niasse, and Jonjoe Kenny who came on later (for pete’s sake Ronald, just start the kid already).
Niasse doesn’t have to be Romelu Lukaku to score goals with this behind him. He’s had service and support and he’s made the most of his opportunities.
Niasse does his job
Simplistic? Sure. But Oumar Niasse gets out there, runs hard, and plays as a true 9. This is something that Wayne Rooney and Sandro refuse to do, as both like to drift out wide went they aren’t getting service to search for the ball. Niasse occupies central defenders, and unlike Rooney he actually has the pace to challenge them.
This has been the argument for Oumar from the start. He and DCL are true nines with pace and size and as slow as the rest of the Blues are, they need someone with some athleticism up top to challenge opposing teams.
Look at the breakdown of this goal:
Literally all Oumar does here is play hard. He makes a long run at the right time and he has the physical ability to do it then shows the composure to finish at the end. Oumar Niasse is not a star, he knows it, and he’s okay with it. Anyone with the right physical tools and willpower could have scored this goal because of great work from the team.
There will be those still pumping the brakes on Oumar. People who still say that against big teams he would be in way over his head. But please, focus on the argument being made here. The argument is not that Niasse is a world class striker. It’s not even that he’s who we want as the starting striker for Everton when the winter window closes.
The argument is that Everton need pace and physicality holding down central defenders at the top of our attack, and that Oumar Niasse can do that job.
Calvert-Lewin can do this job too, and even though he’s young he’s probably a better striker than Niasse. I’m glad he got some goals against Sunderland and I think his league goals are coming soon.
DCL or Niasse should be on the field every single game until the Everton brass can throw out some real cash for a striker in January. In the meantime, let’s ride this wave of form while it lasts, and back our great soldier for the club every single day that he pulls on the shirt.