I thought Nkounkou's display on Wednesday was so impressive it deserved its own thread.
Two days later and I am still marvelling and really buzzing at his performance. As the season wears on there will be far bigger challenges for the 19 year old than Fleetwood, but it looks like he has got what it takes in abundance to meet them when he gets his chance.
It was like watching a four litre Mercedes going past a Renault Twingo on his sorties down the left. He just has a way of moving that oozes quality. Composed and strong too, with a turn of pace to give him that split second to send a cross in.
They were not just punted, aimless crosses. Nearly all of them had a great shape to them a bit of pace and accuracy. I am trying my damned hardest not to get too carried away with this player ."It's too early! Can he actually defend?! There's bigger tests!" will be the cries, but sorry – and I am genuinely sorry because I know we haven't seen anywhere near enough – but it ain’t working. I can't get his performance out of my system. That's why I am writing this article, it's a cathartic exercise to expunge it, so I can sleep properly again.
I remember Wayne Rooney in the Everton youth team leading up to the FA youth cup final 18 or 19 years ago. It was clear to see that the 16 year old was special. To me Nkounkou looks a rare special player too, on that sort of level .
He has an incredible future ahead of him winning trophies and playing Champions League football with Everton FC. (not Man Utd)
Marcel Brands really has found us the elusive, hidden gem.
Reader Comments (25)
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1 Posted 26/09/2020 at 00:37:42
This kid is electric.
I've been asking, how do we get this kid into the lineup?! Dinge has done nothing to be dropped and is a fantastic left-back.
Can Nkounkou actually play centre-back? We need a left-footed centre-back, no?
I have no answers (shocker), but man this kid looks insanely talented and he has to be given a chance in the first team, in a league game, to see how he performs.
2 Posted 26/09/2020 at 00:44:23
So... the challenge is for Jonjoe to step it up on the other side. The sight of 2 marauding full-backs would be interesting.
3 Posted 26/09/2020 at 01:11:23
He's quite lucky to come to us at a point in time when he should be able to get regular minutes. The congested fixture list and our centre-back woes will give him regular minutes in the coming weeks.
I'd like to see him on the bench if he's not starting. What a weapon to bring onto the left-wing. With him and Gordon, we have players who are young, hungry and hopefully able to change a game.
4 Posted 26/09/2020 at 01:43:42
5 Posted 26/09/2020 at 02:01:30
Sorry, Tony, but why the need to make such a comparison? I know we're all excited but this is just overkill.
6 Posted 26/09/2020 at 02:15:51
If he was Rooney-level, he would not have been available.
Neils looks good so far. Leave it at that.
7 Posted 26/09/2020 at 03:02:40
Let's not get ahead of ourselves with positional changes -- or hyperbole. Not yet.
8 Posted 26/09/2020 at 03:29:18
Although, at the risk of being hypocritical and in order to join in the speculation, :P, I definitely don't see him as a centre-back. So far, what we have seen, is great attacking instincts – pace, aggression to beating his man and whipping in crosses. He's yet to really be tested yet defensively by anything approaching a quality strike force.
What also got me thinking, was the similarity in watching a young Gareth Bale, after he was moved further forwards aged about 20-21 and burst properly onto the scene. He simply motored past defenders and that's almost what I saw the other evening, he tore their right-back a new arse on many an occasion. The crossing was fast and reasonably accurate, if the strikers got used to him tearing forwards and anticipating his crosses he could definitely do well.
I feel from what I've seen, limited as it is, that his attacking ability is already on the radar but his defensive skills are yet to be truly tested.
9 Posted 26/09/2020 at 10:48:02
10 Posted 26/09/2020 at 10:55:26
So far he seems like a decent back-up to Digne and there is no doubt he'll get minutes this season.
11 Posted 26/09/2020 at 13:38:21
I'd have Nkounkou on the bench today with left-wing in mind, as promising as Gordon is.
12 Posted 26/09/2020 at 13:46:16
13 Posted 26/09/2020 at 21:02:42
14 Posted 26/09/2020 at 04:55:06
Brave to liken him to Wayne Rooney and not surprised people disagreeing. Ive never seen anything like Rooney coming though he was a freak. However, Ive got to say I agree with you so perhaps were both nuts and wrong!
I appreciate Ive only seen him against lower class opposition but to me he just oozes class and stands out. I Whattsapp my friends immediately who support other clubs and told them what a gem of a player we had - last by time I felt like this was seeing Rooney in quarter finals of FA youth cup. Strange as it sounds (& I think he is a left sided player not central and also havent seen him have to defend yet) but he reminded me of Desailly in his pomp - fast, strong, skilful great on the ball and just so authoritative.
Obviously, were all looking forward to seeing how he does against better sides and if he can keep this level of importance up but Im with you and Im very very excited.
15 Posted 27/09/2020 at 05:10:20
Niels Nkounkou cost the princely sum of, wait a minute he was on a Free. Well done Marcel Brands for tying this one up and under the radar of a myriad of Clubs who surely had they realised would have stumped up a similar fee for his services.
The comparisons to Rooney are not that far fetched either Tony, because surely this lad is going places, well I hope not geographically, unless he is with us. As to whether he will develop the defensive side of his game, I see no reason why not.
16 Posted 27/09/2020 at 09:41:27
17 Posted 27/09/2020 at 10:33:08
BBC said Keane misjudged the flight of the ball for the Palace equaliser and that is perhaps the kindest description for Nkounkou on their second. The alternative is he switched off.
18 Posted 27/09/2020 at 16:56:19
19 Posted 28/09/2020 at 13:40:27
20 Posted 28/09/2020 at 18:28:22
Hopefully, unlike Bale, Nkounkou is willing to learn some Scouse and put the footy before playing a round of golf. He's very exciting to watch and I'd like to see both him and Anthony Gordon start to feature in the Premier League squads. Especially (for Nkounkou) given the current center-back situation and Digne's ability to fill in at CB.
It also interesting to think about using a 3+2 defence with Digne as a CB Coleman and Nkounkou as wingbacks if occasion calls for it.
21 Posted 28/09/2020 at 18:54:03
22 Posted 28/09/2020 at 18:59:28
If he turns out to be as good a defender as he is in supporting the players ahead off him, as has been said. not only do we have exceptional talent we have one of the bargains of the year.
23 Posted 01/10/2020 at 14:04:49
I was a bit confused why the commentator last night kept calling him "Nee-yong-ko"... Surely that's not how you pronounce his name??
24 Posted 01/10/2020 at 15:20:19
I don't know what happened at Marseilles. It may be that he was in a similar situation to Shkodran Mustafi when he wanted more opportunities. It may be that his face just didn't fit there. Whatever it was, we are the beneficiaries. If he is managed right, and trains on, one way or the other he could prove to be one of our shrewdest signings.
25 Posted 02/10/2020 at 11:55:43
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