Nigh on nearly a year has passed since Everton decided to make Oumar Niasse their third-most expensive signing in their history. The only signing Everton made in the 2016 January window gave many Evertonians hope that this player would be a key part of Roberto Martinez’ plan to improve Everton’s struggles in the league and to reduce the collective fear of Lukaku getting injured. Since Lukaku signed permanently for Everton there has always been an underlying fear of how the team would perform if Lukaku was seriously injured and where the goals would come from. Enter stage left, Oumar Niasse.
Within a matter of months it became apparent that Oumar was not up to the standard expected by those who know their history and the questions were being asked in the boozers around Goodison about how Everton ended up signing such a limited player for such a fee. Even a change in manager could not provide Oumar Niasse with a fresh start, forty-five minutes of football being sufficient enough for Koeman to cast his judgment that this player would never be good enough to play for his Everton team.
From that day on it appears that Niasse was informed that he was surplus to requirements at Goodison and that he would not be featuring for the first team again. He was made available and shopped around Europe but none of the clubs took his interest enough to convince him to leave a very enticing contract at Everton despite being informed that he was not going to be considered for the first team. Niasse, for the most part kept his head down and went about his business efficiently for the Under 23s, though he did eventually speak out about his perception of the situation he found himself in at Everton to the press. Since that day in Austria the writing has been on the wall for a move away from Goodison and Niasse has finally agreed to a move suitable for both parties with Hull AFC, or The Tigers FC, or whatever it is they go by now.
Niasse joins a Hull team that at one point this summer had only 13 players on their books despite having achieved promotion to the Premier League. His competition for a starting place at Hull is Dieumerci Mbokani, who some Evertonians may remember giving us the run around when we played Standard Liege after signing Felliani. Mbokani hasn’t exactly been scoring for fun in that Hull side so there is every chance that Oumar will be given the opportunities that Everton were not providing. I’m sure every Evertonian will be hoping Niasse every success and that this deal is made permanent at the end of the season for £10m meaning that Everton don’t take too big a loss.
Recent quotes from Hull boss Marco Silva indicate that Niasse will be in contention for a starting spot soon so watch this space. He has described Niasse as “a strong, fast striker, and a strong and fast player, he’s not a normal number 9, he is not always fixed. He is more or less like a Diomande”. It will come as little surprise to Evertonians to see Niasse described as strong and fast because few would have many compliments about the technical side of the striker’s game.
All in all, this deal looks like a potential win-win for everyone. Niasse gets to stay in the UK and should be given the opportunity to play, Everton get to clear off his wages for 5 months with a potential for a decent return on a player who will never feature for the first team, and Hull get another body in without the outlay of a fee to hopefully help them survive the drop this season.
If nothing else, Niasse will be remembered as the first of our players to be given the now-traditional “face within a face” graphic and as the man who replace Bilyaletdinov as the reason why Evertonians will forever be sceptical of signings from Russia.