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St Etienne plan to exercise buy option for Nkounkou

| 25/04/2023 27comments  |  Jump to last

St Etienne are planning on taking up the option to make Niels Nkounkou's loan move from Everton permanent this summer, according to a report in France.

L'Equipe claim that the Ligue 2 outfit will then look to immediately cash in on the Pontoise-born full-back by selling him on.

Nkounkou was picked up from Marseille by ex-Blues Director of Football, Marcel Brands in the summer of 2020 and it looked initially as though the Dutchman might have unearthed a gem.

He made some exciting cameos in the early rounds of the Carabao Cup during his first season, displaying pace and a desire to get forward, but struggled to convince he had the requisite defensive qualities to succeed at Premier League level.

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Nkounkou had a spell on loan at Standard Liege last season and has spent the 2022-23 campaign back in France with St Etienne where he has been thriving in his country's second tier, scoring six goals this season. 

Reader Comments (27)

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Tony Everan
1 Posted 25/04/2023 at 23:11:48
Did anyone see the goal he scored last week? It was incredible, carried the ball from near the half-way line, cut in, went past a player or two, then let it rip from about 25 yards with his left foot. It went like a hypersonic missile into the top of the net.

Jim Harrison
2 Posted 26/04/2023 at 04:34:13
Anyone know what the fee would be?
Tony Everan
3 Posted 26/04/2023 at 07:03:19
Jim, some French press are reporting the option to buy is set at €2M. It sounds like a giveaway to me.

I'm really disappointed he won't be at Everton, he's not an orthodox left-back, more a wing back, but the wide midfield role in our 4-5-1 may have suited him better. There is definitely a sprinkling of stardust on his left boot.

There's quality assists in him and now goals too. I'm sure many of us will follow his career to see if he can make it at the higher level.

David Currie
4 Posted 26/04/2023 at 07:18:07
I hope he stays as I think he could fight for a wide midfield role.

He's good going forward and worth keeping for next season.

Steve Shave
5 Posted 26/04/2023 at 08:11:10
Everton that.

Hope it's not another Antonee Robinson situation.

Allen Rodgers
6 Posted 26/04/2023 at 10:18:58
I expect Everton to sell him for buttons — as per usual.
Dave Abrahams
7 Posted 26/04/2023 at 10:32:05
I think Lyndon could be right about St Etienne selling him on, there are stories saying we will get £4M for him while St Etienne will sell him to Lille for a lot more than that.
Clive Rogers
8 Posted 26/04/2023 at 10:45:03
More incompetence.
Jack Convery
9 Posted 26/04/2023 at 11:32:57
They will buy him for £4m and then Bill will agree a deal for £10m to buy him back, with a 50% sell on fee !!
Colin Glassar
10 Posted 26/04/2023 at 12:52:27
He’ll probably go as will Branthwaite. Which young player with potential wants to stick around Goodison right now.

We will probably lose Pickford and DCL in the summer and be stuck with the likes of Maupay, Iwobi, Davies and Holgate next season.

Dennis Stevens
11 Posted 26/04/2023 at 13:15:12
I think we'll sell anybody we can, Colin. Probably have to, regardless of which division we're playing in. That could mean greater opportunities for promising young players, but they'll need to have the character to deal with a tough situation - something that often seems rather lacking in some of the more senior players, imo.
James Flynn
12 Posted 26/04/2023 at 14:16:14
Couple of quick notes.

Nkounkou's departure isn't the same as Robinson's. Antonee can play some defense at LB. Niels 100% cannot.

Also, Nkounkou played the first half of this season at Cardiff City in the Championship, not at St. Etienne. His play there at LB as a defender was so bad, they had to stop playing him.

At the same time, he far and away had the best left-foot on the Cardiff team, the manager could have simply pushed him up onto the wing, so to retain his wonderful attacking skill. Nope.

So the Club called him back and sent him over to France and St. Etienne where, surprise-surprise, the manager has pushed him up on the wing permanently, where Niels is thriving.

I've said this several times about Niels and am repeating it. He has the best left foot of anyone currently signed to a contract with Everton FC, McNeil included.

Unlike McNeil, Niels has the quickness and pace to make his own room to use his left foot.

Anyway, he never did play for the 1st Team, so it's "No harm, no foul" I guess. He came on a "Free", so it's all profit, whatever we get for him.

Would've liked to see him on the left flank a couple times, though. The boy has a sweet left foot.

Colin Glassar
13 Posted 26/04/2023 at 14:28:26
Dennis, if we do go down we, apparently, have to pay back a £150m loan. I suppose the sale of DCL, Pickford and Onana will cover that.

If the unthinkable happens then I hope 2/3 of the current squad are sacked or sold. Most of them aren’t fit to wear the shirt. Keep some old heads like Tarkowski and Coleman and build a team with young, hungry players.

Ridding ourselves of shite like Kenwright and his cronies and wasters like Iwobi, Maupay, Davies, Holgate etc… will be worth a year in the wilderness - if we do it properly.

Dennis Stevens
14 Posted 26/04/2023 at 17:13:50
Problem is, Colin - there's no guarantee it'd just be a year, or even that we'd avoid a further relegation. What a state Kenwright has brought us to, that relegation could be considered a necessary measure to rid ourselves of him!
Colin Glassar
15 Posted 26/04/2023 at 17:34:04
As long as he breathes, he'll never leave us, Dennis. Unless of course there is a takeover and the new owners give him a massive boot up his fat useless arse.

Of course, no one wants relegation but that would be one scenario which would make him never show his face again. While he's around we will never progress as a club.

Martin Mason
16 Posted 26/04/2023 at 17:40:14
Colin @13,

I'm definitely pro relegation now because what are we achieving in the pit of the Premier League? I think that the solution is from within as long as Kenwright and his cronies aren't part of it.

Pete Neilson
17 Posted 26/04/2023 at 17:58:21
There's no guarantee relegation gets rid of Chairman Bill. Even if it did, the financial constraints already exist caused by the years of financial ineptitude. Relegation would simply make this worse.

Staying up is essential. We haven't the finances or recruitment nous to return any time soon.

Joe McMahon
18 Posted 26/04/2023 at 18:10:28
Another one bites the Dust! Shame I wanted to see a bit more of him in a blue shirt!.

This club really is pathetic, I'm getting to the stage I'm losing interest.

Dale Self
19 Posted 26/04/2023 at 18:27:20
Ligue 2. We have too many players that came in under someone long gone. Not Premier League quality so yes move him on and good luck to the lad. Yes, we've had to loan out with terms that showed our desperation. That is where we were, deal with it.

Any funds that can be collected while reducing the wage bill along with associated deadwood is fine. I think I recall most sensible people being okay with this when Thelwell moved several out in the off-season.

Brian Wilkinson
20 Posted 26/04/2023 at 18:39:05
St Etienne have had a few clubs asking for Nkounkou, they have an option to buy him for just over £2 Million, then intend to sell him straight away to one of the clubs who have been asking and fully expect to more than double the money they are paying Everton for him.

As per previous, he will not end up as a left-back, he will be turned out as a left-sided midfielder in my view.

Gutted we arranged such a deal. I was looking forward to seeing more of this guy.

Dennis Stevens
21 Posted 26/04/2023 at 19:29:27
I agree, Colin. My hope is for survival this season, followed by a takeover or conditional investment – one key condition being the removal of Kenwright!
Francis van Lierop
22 Posted 27/04/2023 at 14:36:43
It's almost mind-boggling where all the incompetence is leading to.

Let's hope someone at the club wakes up.

Matthew Williams
23 Posted 29/04/2023 at 11:59:59
No deal,we might need him still!
Graham Hammond
24 Posted 03/05/2023 at 17:18:07
It would be idiotic to not keep this player. We currently have seven first-team squad centre-backs so we could easily move to a 3-5-2 and accommodate this player on the left-hand side.

We have to give quality youth a chance, we need goals, letting Lookman and Robinson leave were other mistakes. Do we never learn?

Si Cooper
25 Posted 03/05/2023 at 17:40:38
If they have an option, we cannot prevent them from exercising it can we? I just hope St Etienne have had to put in more than the £2 million transfer fee cause otherwise they will be laughing all the way to the bank.

Anyone who is pro-relegation is basically pro the possibility the club will implode and sink like a stone. We all want radical change at the club but much better that be driven by another ‘too close a shave' than by actually dropping out of the Premier League.

We are potentially facing a points deduction for next season; can that only be applied if we avoid relegation this season? Better that it lead to dropping into the Championship at the end of that season than into League One.

Phil Smith
26 Posted 04/05/2023 at 17:54:38
This kid was never given a chance, like so many others at our club. He's be a better option going forward than Mykolenko and would have saved us a few bob if we'd tried him instead.
Peter Hodgson
27 Posted 15/05/2023 at 17:11:13
Colin @ 15 and subsequent posts.

Not too nice to read but all the bitter and harsh words make sense. I've been saying similar things for some time now with a huge amount of regret. It pains me to think that relegation seems the only way, whether it be by our own poor play and manager churn coupled with the incompetence of Kenwright and Co, it is a sad fact we will have to live with.

Whatever we will have to take the medicine and get it over with as soon as we can. Let's hope it is only one season.


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