The 25-year-old striker has played less than half an hour of football since he arrived from Lokomotiv Moscow for the not-insignificant sum of £13.5m on transfer deadline day but it's been hard to glean much about what he could bring to the team from those brief cameos.
A few minutes at Bournemouth and Aston Villa didn't offer much because Everton were coasting to victory in the closing stages, while his fifteen minutes on the field against West Ham last Saturday coincided with that game turning emphatically against the Toffees.
Niasse was at the centre of the post-mortem that followed that crushing 3-2 defeat, as much for what he didn't do as what he did. Roberto Martinez's decision to introduce him rather than a more defensively-minded player has been heavily criticised and it was a difficult situation for the Premier League rookie to be thrown into.
The Senegal striker wants to be involved, though, something he has made abundantly clear ever since he arrived. A lack of match fitness compounded by a wrist injury that required surgery delayed his debut but he is now fully fit and raring to show Evertonians what he is made of.
His move to Goodison and England's top flight represents a dream come true but had his father had his way, he would never have turned professional in the first place. Believing that there was no future in football, Niasse Sr. wanted his son to concentrate on his education so he could help the family financially.
“I don’t want to say I was a bad boy but I was not good," Niasse says in The Guardian. "My dad never slapped me but my big brothers always slapped me and told me not to play football.
"Whenever I had five minutes I would go out and you would not see me for three or four hours because I was 12 years old playing football with guys who were 20. I had a lot of leg injuries, I broke my leg twice and still have a lot of scars, and my dad had to spend a lot of money he couldn’t afford at the hospital.
"He had a lot of problems with me. After one time in hospital he said: ‘After this, if you start to play football again I will kill you.’ But I never thought I would do anything else in my life than play football."
That determination, bolstered by his brother Baye Ibrahima's move to Nancy Lorraine in 2007 which convinced his father that there could be route out of poverty in football, has led him through three clubs in Europe on his way to Everton in that big-money move last month.
And it's also the quality that he is sure will overcome the early doubts from supporters in his ability to make it in the Premier League over the remainder of the season.
“I am a fighter. Football is not easy and just getting a professional contract means people must respect you because you have something," he continues. "Even if it’s one quality, you have it.
"When I feel very good, when I feel ready to play, the fans will see someone who always wants to have the ball, someone who always wants to win, someone who always wants to run.
"This kind of player is someone who is focused on fighting every time he has the shirt and is on the pitch. I am going to fight.”
Reader Comments (48)
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1 Posted 12/03/2016 at 06:19:15
2 Posted 12/03/2016 at 06:26:00
I've a feeling he will be off after one year with us, he looks so far behind Premier League football, it's actually scary.
3 Posted 12/03/2016 at 07:15:35
4 Posted 12/03/2016 at 07:27:58
5 Posted 12/03/2016 at 07:43:00
6 Posted 12/03/2016 at 07:53:39
Difficult business having strength in depth.
7 Posted 12/03/2016 at 08:29:04
These foreign lads take time to adjust to the English game, not to mention the lifestyle and the weather. I'd like to see any of the doubters go over to South America or Africa and be able to play competitive football at your best after a few weeks,
8 Posted 12/03/2016 at 08:44:01
9 Posted 12/03/2016 at 08:52:42
10 Posted 12/03/2016 at 08:56:48
If he comes on without the manager's blessing and scores 2 today, he might just be the new Amokachi.
11 Posted 12/03/2016 at 08:58:52
This lad hadn't played football for over 2 months before signing for us and in his first month or so at the club he's had to use that as a mini pre season and it will be hard to get up to full fitness playing sparingly like he is right now but I do think he was signed this month with a view to next season and to get him in before there was a bit of a bidding war for him in the summer.
Hopefully he can show some of his qualities in the remaining games of this season but I'm gonna wait till next season to judge him when he's got a full pre season behind and he's ready to hit the ground running.
12 Posted 12/03/2016 at 09:08:00
Kone is 33 and can't play a full game; if Lukaku gets injured, I'm glad we have someone. However, I don't expect him to do any better than Naismith, or definitely not what's remaining of the season. I hope I'm wrong but I'll be more than happy if he's just an effective super sub.
13 Posted 12/03/2016 at 09:09:00
Honestly couldn't get my head around the managers decision more if I'm honest though. He sees him every day, and it's obvious it's going to take some time to adapt, so why not give him some game time at Villa, once the match had become a stroll?
He's saying the right things though, and if he's going to fight like he says he his, then surely he's got a chance. Good luck and Let's hope it rubs off on a few others, when it happens.
14 Posted 12/03/2016 at 09:23:00
16 Posted 12/03/2016 at 09:53:11
Steve I'll give you a 100-1 that he becomes a better striker than Lukaku!
17 Posted 12/03/2016 at 10:41:23
I know nothing about football but he looked like an amateur against West Ham.
18 Posted 12/03/2016 at 10:42:40
But you can only wish the lad well. I have a feeling that after the next window, goal scorers may be in short supply around Goodison Park!
19 Posted 12/03/2016 at 10:43:48
With the Premier League virtually a write off for us now, why not give him a couple of starts so he can show us what he can do? After all, he can always be substituted if things don't work out for him if Martinez can actually remember he is allowed to make substitutions before the 75th minute.
Also, why are we now learning he broke his leg twice as a youth? Hope that doesn't mean he has an inherent weakness that could lead to lots of time on the treatment table.
20 Posted 12/03/2016 at 10:45:12
Watch a few DVD 's of Marcus Bent, a lad limited ability wise but left every ounce of his passion on that pitch every time he wore a blue shirt.
Fan's can tolerate a player that isn't always great, but we can't tolerate having passenger's in our team that don't do that bare minimum of working , and crucially pressing the opposition.
21 Posted 12/03/2016 at 11:02:17
22 Posted 12/03/2016 at 11:27:56
23 Posted 12/03/2016 at 12:09:40
25 Posted 12/03/2016 at 13:26:54
People saying he looked useless, hopeless, a waste of money, out of his depth etc.
It wasn't his fault that he was thrown on as a second forward when we were down to ten men. The guy is not fit and needs time. Why throw him in against West Ham to get some minutes when we were three nil up against Villa with half an hour to go. He could have had thirty minutes against Villa and put those minutes in the bank.
I don't think that we'll see much from him until next season because stepping up from the Russian league and not playing since December means that it will be hard for him to contribute.
Those Everton fans who have already started attacking the guy are just ridiculous. Having said all of that I'm going to look really stupid if this guy turns out to be another Aiden McGeady....Surely not :)
26 Posted 12/03/2016 at 13:31:58
Try the 2004-05 Season Review, when Bent played out of his skin as the lone striker, helping us to a 4th place finish.
27 Posted 12/03/2016 at 13:35:54
Your right, Niasse definitely needs time and I'm in agreement that Martinez has been foolish in throwing him on in difficult circumstances.
What I will say though is he shouldn't need to be having six months of Premier League football just to run and put himself about a bit, nor should you need to be 100% fit just to run and press the opposition defence for a brief 20 minute spell, any man could do that.
It's too early to judge the lad but at £13 million and the age of 25, people these days won't show a great deal of patience.
28 Posted 12/03/2016 at 13:45:30
But Marcus Bent DVDs? Plural? He did nothing either before or since, but I agree he was great for us in the season of his life. Not sure he is the greatest example you could have given as someone who made up a talent gap through effort. Kevin Keegan? I wouldn't recommend it!
If you want an exemplar of never say die from an Everton striker, I'd go for Andy Gray. A few more videos of him than Marcus Bent, I'd say too.
29 Posted 12/03/2016 at 13:47:00
Sure, he looked a little lost but it wasn't exactly the ideal scenario for a rusty striker fresh to the Premier League to be thrown into, was it? Being written off as 'fucking shite' before he's started a single game takes some doing.
30 Posted 12/03/2016 at 13:51:56
*Put him on for the last 30 minutes against Villa when we're cruising 3-0 so he can get match fitness."
*Don't put him on for the last 15 minutes against West Ham when we're cruising 2-0 so he can get match fitness."
Who'd be a manager?
31 Posted 12/03/2016 at 13:58:08
I seem to remember looking at Lukaku in his first couple of games and thinking the same thing and eventually the lad came good!
32 Posted 12/03/2016 at 14:02:32
I was simply making a straightforward reference to the minimum requirements that Niasse must reach are working hard and putting in a shift for the team every time he sets foot on the pitch.
If he works hard and it isn't happening for him, the fans will appreciate him.
If he is NOT working hard and it isn't happening for him, the fans will be less forgiving.
33 Posted 12/03/2016 at 14:11:57
Incidentally I said when he signed that I would reserve judgement on Niasse until I'd seen six games from him - which could be a very very long time given RMs track record. He certainly looked very "rabbit in the headlights" Vs WHU and understandably so. What was the nobhead thinking with that substitution?
Anyway, hope springs eternal and I'm off to the game, hoping I don't bump into Jamie Crowley.
34 Posted 12/03/2016 at 14:15:54
Johnny Vegas nods in agreement and get's up to put the kettle on, only pausing inbetween to get his fucking breath back.
Never mind the Marcus Bent DVD Jim, I want to borrow Series 1 of 'Challenge Bennings' (Catchphrase: "Anybody can do that!").
Jim B bombing around a full size footy pitch in his joggers for 20 minutes. Jim B doing that Atlas Stones bit in 'Worlds Strongest Man' after saying "anyone who can't do three is a big soft puff". Jim B stuffed in a padlocked suitcase with no airholes and vowing to prove that the pervy sex game gone wrong spy who snuffed it in similar circumstances was "crap at letting himself out of luggage".
35 Posted 12/03/2016 at 14:22:09
Only time will tell he certainly likes to talk the talk.
36 Posted 12/03/2016 at 14:49:08
I'm actually more scared of my hangover than Chelsea though, I just hope it's worth it!
37 Posted 12/03/2016 at 15:10:51
38 Posted 12/03/2016 at 15:24:37
Who said Martinez is great at scouting out players? Another Kone? Hope to God not.
39 Posted 12/03/2016 at 15:40:06
As you said, if a player works hard at that side of his game then he will not be criticised, as you have been for suggesting it.
40 Posted 12/03/2016 at 15:44:18
It's the hardest, fastest and most unforgiving league on the planet, yet we sell Naismith who is a striker and played in his correct position. As Chris Sutton says the guy is beyond a joke.
41 Posted 12/03/2016 at 15:48:50
42 Posted 12/03/2016 at 15:52:38
43 Posted 12/03/2016 at 16:15:02
One other thing let's judge him when he is played in the right position?
45 Posted 12/03/2016 at 16:34:30
His track record so far did not warrant anywhere near justifying the £13.5 million squandered on him. Naismith, for his faults, was a good squad player and you knew what you were getting when putting him on.
An unknown quantity like Niasse to take over from Naismith is nothing short of incompetence.
46 Posted 12/03/2016 at 16:44:08
Onto Niasse; You should give players at least a season to settle in-remember he's got to settle in to the club, the type of football the country, so cut the lad some slack.
47 Posted 12/03/2016 at 16:47:52
48 Posted 12/03/2016 at 17:10:58
Most new signing over-impress when they first come onto the scene; I can't say that's case so far he doesn't look physically big or strong enough to me.
The book's still open on him though.
49 Posted 13/03/2016 at 04:12:16
50 Posted 13/03/2016 at 07:48:03
I remember league debuts for Fellaini, Arteta, Jagielka, David Weir and Peter Reid were all distinctly below average with Arteta and Jagielka both playing the "rabbit in headlights" card. It took them half a season to get going.
Conversely, I remember Tony Cottee scoring a hat-trick on his debut and I felt he never really did the business for us (although he did score 99 goals apparently)!
Anyway point is... we just have to suspend judgement for now. It does take time to adjust.
51 Posted 13/03/2016 at 16:41:03
After about 30 seconds on the pitch he made a very intelligent angled run but Rom over hit his chip over the top and a decent chance was wasted. Later another decent run would have given him one back-pedalling defender to beat but for a clumsy foul from another defender scrambling to get back into position.
Okay, he didn't terrorise the opposition defenders but at that stage nobody was trying to do that. When in possession we were attempting to break into their half quickly, when they had it we tried to get 8 or 9 behind the ball in ranks for them to play through and he took up a position to do that. He might have been in the vicinity of the player who crossed for their second but he was not the nearest and so not to be blamed for not getting close enough to prevent the cross from being played.
Otherwise he tried to get involved in the attacks we mounted but it wasn't his fault Ross and Rom both had their worst period of the game for ball retention.
Spotting the dead duck first has been a popular game on ToffeeWeb for as long as I remember. This bout of it seems based on particularly flimsy first-hand evidence.
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