Oumar Niasse has revealed the role that Everton's supporters have played in his gradual rehabilitation back into the Blues' fold which saw him score his first goal for the club on Wednesday night.
The Senegalese striker came on as a second-half substitute in the League Cup tie against Sunderland and wrapped up a 3-0 win with the final strike of the night, an impressive half-volley after bringing down Tom Davies's cross on his chest.
It opened the latest chapter in Niasse's rollercoaster Everton career which might yet see him become a part of Ronald Koeman's team just weeks after he looked destined to leave Goodison Park for Crystal Palace.
A year ago, Niasse looked as though he was going to wind up being the most expensive flop in Everton's history. He was signed from Lokomotiv Moscow in January last year for £13.5m, a big fee at the time despite the massive inflation that the transfer market has undergone since, but he looked akin to Bambi on ice in his early appearances during Roberto Martinez's tumultuous last few months in charge.
Quickly written off by incoming manager Ronald Koeman, Niasse was effectively told to find a new club but a number of loan offers, most of them reportedly coming from Turkey, failed to materialise into moves away until he joined Hull City last January.
He scored five goals on loan for the Tigers but they were relegated back to the Championship and they elected not to take up a £10m option to sign Niasse permanently. Former Palace boss Frank de Boer lined up a move for the 27-year-old on transfer deadline day last month but it collapsed, apparently due to the paperwork not being submitted in time.
Perhaps due to his goalscoring feats at Hull — he is the only player on the books at Everton to have both scored at Anfield and come away with a win from Liverpool's home ground — his displays for the Toffees' Under-23s and the fact that Koeman is desperately in search of someone to score goals for the first team, Niasse now has a second chance at Goodison.
He is philosophical about the meandering path he has taken to getting another opportunity to make his time at Everton a success and his refusal to “spit the dummy” over his treatment by Koeman has endeared him to the Blues faithful.
"In life, everything can happen," Niasse is quoted as saying in the Liverpool Echo. "That is what I am saying, always. Sometimes you think everything is going against you but it's just the way that God chooses, the way that God gives to you.
"You have to live with that and be the nicest person you can be, work hard, be a professional and, even if you're under-18, under-23 or with the first team, you have to work hard. That's what I think is the best thing to do.
"The fans made me feel very good, honestly,” he continued in reference to Wednesday night when he replaced Dominic Calvert-Lewin with Everton leading Sunderland 2-0. “They made me feel like the confidence was coming back and I was thinking I want to give back to them because of what they are giving to me.
"They gave me a great feeling when I went to warm up. I said to myself, ‘The only thing I can do is to try to put the ball in the net.' That was a special moment that they gave to me."
“[The goal] was something I was waiting for and I think also they were waiting for that — for me to give them a goal. Like I said, it was a great feeling and very important for me.
"It has made me feel more confident, it has made me feel that my teammates are more confident and also the fans are going to have more confidence in me.”
Reader Comments (57)
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1 Posted 22/09/2017 at 19:02:59
2 Posted 22/09/2017 at 19:05:27
I have a lot of respect for the guy.
3 Posted 22/09/2017 at 19:05:28
4 Posted 22/09/2017 at 19:06:10
5 Posted 22/09/2017 at 19:14:19
6 Posted 22/09/2017 at 19:21:31
I also don't think he was ever given the chance to show what he could, or couldn't do. I would love to know why Koeman was so quick to almost ostracise him publicly, when he first came.
Like many have said, the lad's attitude has been brilliant, no dummies spat out, or rattles thrown out of pram, he has just got on with things, and even managed to smile.
He has almost reached cult status, after coming on and scoring in the Carabao Cup game. I will never forget the look on Koeman's Dutch kipper, when he scored, and the fans erupted in support.
Stranger things have happened; he could be a hero for us in weeks to come, provided he is given a chance, even if it's from the bench.
Good on you, Oumar, you get my vote, even if it's only for being treated like you have been, and coming through it all with dignity, and earning the respect of the fans. Pity the management don't see it the same way.
7 Posted 22/09/2017 at 19:24:57
8 Posted 22/09/2017 at 19:26:52
Lukaku will probably have a drawerful of medals too but, of the two, only Niasse has a hope of being welcomed back to a football club as a member of the family. The combination of sitting with the fans at Old Trafford, and banging in a goal on his return from the wilderness are the things we sentimental fools just love.
Sure, Lukaku's career will be the bigger one, but if Niasse bangs in a few more goals in at the Street End, he's the one we'll be talking about in ten years time.
9 Posted 22/09/2017 at 19:34:50
10 Posted 22/09/2017 at 19:40:11
I think he has improved since he first came to us and that is testimony to his hard work and dedication but whether he has enough for the Premier League remains to be seen.
11 Posted 22/09/2017 at 19:40:25
Thanks to Martinez and Koeman, the fans have treated him as a joke since he arrived; now suddenly he is fast becoming a folk hero having said that Koeman didn't look happy talking about him.
12 Posted 22/09/2017 at 19:41:03
13 Posted 22/09/2017 at 19:45:18
I hope Oumar comes good and in all honesty none of our fans have the right to judge the lad on ability because none of us have ever seen him play while being match fit. .
Koeman is a horrible piece of work and it wouldn't surprise me to see him drop Niasse out of the squad on Saturday because Rooney is back. If he does drop Oumar and we don't get a result, Koeman is toast.
14 Posted 22/09/2017 at 19:46:47
It's great to see fans get behind him; all we want is commitment, passion and honesty – everything else is a bonus.
16 Posted 22/09/2017 at 19:54:30
I think there is now some serious competition for that title. One begins with 'K' and the other with 'S', and their signing fees made Niasse's look like change.
17 Posted 22/09/2017 at 19:56:22
I hope now "The Lost Niasse Monster" has been released, he continues to wreak havoc on defences, and that we get behind him even if he fluffs a few for time to time.
18 Posted 22/09/2017 at 20:08:40
He has an 'awkward' looking style but he also does two things well that catch my eye; Firstly, he takes up good positions with good timing without seeming to be caught off-side, and secondly, he does seem to hit the target more often than not.
He is in many ways a breath of fresh air and I hope he continues to add flavor to the match-day experience!
19 Posted 22/09/2017 at 20:23:59
20 Posted 22/09/2017 at 20:30:23
But his flaws were still there for all to see on Wednesday. I would like to see some stats on completed passes by him, because I think it would be 1 out of 4 or 5. His passing and link-up play was woeful. But he can get on the end of stuff, and he can lose his man, and he can go past defenders.
So sure, he's worth a go, Valencia style from the bench, but no, he's no saviour.
21 Posted 22/09/2017 at 20:32:25
22 Posted 22/09/2017 at 20:35:28
23 Posted 22/09/2017 at 20:35:39
24 Posted 22/09/2017 at 20:35:51
26 Posted 22/09/2017 at 20:43:54
Gone in January for a huge loss on initial investment.
27 Posted 22/09/2017 at 20:44:45
I posted my comment despite all the reservations I have about our manager, who has carried out his job poorly since he has been with us. I have no reason to try and boost or defend him, I was merely making an objective comment based upon what I had seen at the match.
28 Posted 22/09/2017 at 20:48:39
I was thrilled he got his chance in midweek, and after his cool finish, he deserves a place on the bench tomorrow, especially as only Rooney and Calvert-Lewin have scored more this season!!
29 Posted 22/09/2017 at 20:52:31
30 Posted 22/09/2017 at 21:00:46
The rest of us will be somewhere in the middle and will watch the shouters make their point, take piss taking of their views, and they will take us as shallow fans and ultimately make TW a brave place to be sometimes.
But to those of us who like fun, have some perspective and cannot be arsed or do not know the details of all our history or tactics, stay here. Never leave. Otherwise the place becomes a place for that bald bloke who is next to you and made you wish you hadn't come!
32 Posted 22/09/2017 at 21:12:35
33 Posted 22/09/2017 at 21:18:08
He has the knack of putting the ball in the net when given the chance. Not a commodity we have a surplus of.
34 Posted 22/09/2017 at 21:38:13
Let's give Koeman his due, he has recalled the lad to the squad, could have kept him out, acknowledged he scored a great goal on Wednesday and repeated today he is in his mind to play tomorrow, saying he had him in mind for the Bournemouth game even before he played against Sunderland.
By the way, Lenny (#26), with the prices the way they are at the moment, if Niasse is transferred in January, he will not go at a great loss; we might even make a profit on him. Then again, if he scores a few more, we might keep him and sell him at a good profit in the future.
35 Posted 22/09/2017 at 21:46:28
"With the prices the way they are at the moment, if Niasse is transferred in January he will not go at a great loss".
Compared to what we paid, Dave. But then you have to consider what that fee would buy us in a market of highly-inflated transfer fees. We'd need to sell for more than we paid in order to break even perhaps.
36 Posted 22/09/2017 at 22:02:38
37 Posted 22/09/2017 at 22:02:42
Oh to be a fly on the wall when they sit around the table next time.
38 Posted 22/09/2017 at 22:10:56
I shook my head when I first saw him, thought he'd come straight off the set of "Mean-Machine" but whenever he plays for Everton now, I'm going to cheer for this fella a little big louder, simply because he has shown such a first class attitude.
His words about hard work should be posted in every academy changing room around the country, because it could have been so easy for him to throw in the towel, considering how wealthy footballers have now become, and for the attitude he's shown, he's definitely earned the respect of everyone. I hope this story continues to run for some time!
39 Posted 22/09/2017 at 22:42:12
40 Posted 22/09/2017 at 23:38:53
As for his ability, he's obviously improved since his arrival and from his own words it's plain to see he loves being an Everton footballer. How much does Koeman actually love Everton FC? I suspect not as much as our young, rediscovered striker.
The only way we are ever going to know how good Niasse can be is if he's given regular game time by the manager. He could turn out to be a gem, one of those old fashioned goal poachers with the habit of being in the right place at the right time to bang them in.
Let's be honest, Rom wasn't the most gifted footballer in the world, but was a great goal scorer. We will never know just how much Niasse can contribute if he isn't given the chance to prove himself. In his loan spell with Hull he scored against both Man Utd and Liverpool and how many of our current squad have a pedigree like that?
If he gets the chance to show us what he can do over a period of time with a good run in the team, and subsequently fails the test, Koeman can turn round and say "I told you so." If he doesn't get the chance then we will always be asking ourselves... What if?
41 Posted 22/09/2017 at 23:53:24
42 Posted 23/09/2017 at 01:09:21
43 Posted 23/09/2017 at 04:48:04
In this most pathetic of pathetic posts - hang yer little head in shame ,Armstrong soft lad. The allegation that has never been substantiated fecks me off but so too does the smart-arse 'just asking'. "Oh, Jeff, [shriek] you're such a wag!"
In addition, the pathetic gender-sound drift of JA never seen this before that is nothing more than an opportunistic grab.
Sad. Sick. Embarrassing. Attention-seeking. And also libellous by the way.
More embarrassing than the wits who thought that Oumar's goal was a kick in the teeth for Koeman.
45 Posted 23/09/2017 at 08:15:13
I'm not expecting headline-grabbing performances from him. Far from it.
I was thoroughly ashamed with the way that Everton Football Club permitted and therefore condoned his mistreatment. I'm humbled at the way he has stuck to his principles in quiet.
I'm awaiting straight talking, plain speaking Ronald Koeman's admission that neither Oumar Niasse nor any other player merits such petty, infantile bullying.
I'm not holding my breath for Oumar or Ronald I know who I'd rather sit next to at the match.
46 Posted 23/09/2017 at 08:32:28
47 Posted 23/09/2017 at 09:08:02
In his spell at Hull, a side who were relegated, he grabbed nearly half a dozen goals including strikes against Man Utd and Liverpool!!
He's clearly got enough ability to compete at this level as many strikers never score against the Big 6!! At worst he's a decent squad player.
His treatment from Koeman was astonishing... I've never seen a manager ostracize a player like that without giving them a fair chance first.
He'll never be one of our greats but for character he's already right up there and that's something we've sorely missed so far this season.
48 Posted 23/09/2017 at 09:09:09
49 Posted 23/09/2017 at 09:24:44
50 Posted 23/09/2017 at 09:48:16
I would like to see him do well, but he seems a bit naive to me. Koeman wants him out, but he still hangs around like a bad smell. A damn fool.
51 Posted 23/09/2017 at 09:50:42
This time last year, he was practically told to get lost, no locker, no club. Says a lot about the guy, to see that he knuckled down, got a chance with the U23s, than with Hull, and now hopefully back with us.
Okay, his first touch might not be great, but he seems to have a knack of scoring goals. And, as someone mentioned above, what's wrong with a bit of romance back in football.
After all, if he knocks in a few in the next half dozen games, it really will be Roy of the Rovers stuff.
52 Posted 23/09/2017 at 10:22:15
Everyone else is given time to settle into the Premier League; he wasn't... until now unless Koeman relents on his refusal to play him when we are begging for anyone who can put it in the net.
53 Posted 23/09/2017 at 10:49:08
Prediction today: 1-0 either way... certainly won't be a 9-goal thriller.
54 Posted 23/09/2017 at 11:16:03
55 Posted 23/09/2017 at 12:04:06
How many times did Bob Latchford stumble over the ball? How many mazy runs did Gary Lineker go on? ALL they did was score goals.
If Oumar does nothing but score goals, I, for one will be a happy blue bunny. The lad deserves to make a go of it and I reckon that loan spell at Hull may just have worked the oracle.
56 Posted 23/09/2017 at 13:04:13
57 Posted 23/09/2017 at 18:47:37
I was "following" the game (online) at work when I turned it off only, to my great surprise, to see that Oumar had saved Ronald's bacon. Good on yer, Oumar lad. You are now an honorary Scouser.
58 Posted 23/09/2017 at 18:54:21
As someone has just asked me; "When was the last time someone played 45 minutes over two games to become Everton's leading goal scorer?"
59 Posted 24/09/2017 at 21:01:16
60 Posted 25/09/2017 at 22:49:44
61 Posted 26/09/2017 at 08:22:00
I have heard that before somewhere!!
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