Will Oumar Niasse emerge from the shadows?
Oumar Niasse has struggled to make a name for himself in England. Image via Matthew Ashton

Will Oumar Niasse emerge from the shadows?

Can Oumar Niasse show his doubters wrong after dropping down to Everton's under 23's?

Christopher Holley

In January 2016 the winter transfer was coming to a close and Everton needed more firepower to turn their fortunes around. The man they signed to help things was Senegalese forward Oumar Niasse, at the end of the window the Merseyside club spent £13.5 million on the Lokomotiv Moscow man. Come October the former Railroaders goalscorer now find's himself playing for Everton under-23's and his future looking bleak.

Rocky road for Niasse

Since his dream move to the Premier League Niasse has only made five appearances for Everton and all being relatively short appearances, the most minutes Niasse experienced in an Everton shirt was towards the end of the 2015/16 season when he played sixty-three minutes away to Leicester City.

The striker is yet to score a senior goal for the Toffees after struggling to gain a place in Roberto Martinez's side and further more since the arrival of Ronald Koeman on Merseyside the Senegal forward has found game time even harder to come by. Niasse was told soon after Everton's first pre-season fixture that he was no longer needed at the club and to start looking to play elsewhere, after the discussion with Koeman it looks even more likely that Niasse may never score in the royal blue Everton shirt.

The news of Niasse being allowed to leave the club didn't cause any shock waves through the Everton fan base as many believe he won't be good enough to pull on the shirt again.

After being told he can leave the club Niasse looked away from Goodison Park for a move, however he only had one destination on his mind and that was to stay in England. Despite interest from club's such as West Brom, Hull City and Crystal Palace nothing concrete was put on the table and this left Niasse unwanted at Everton as the summer window shut.

Playing with the kids

Shortly after the window closed things worsened for Niasse as he was then demoted to train and play  with the Everton under 23's. In plenty of cases this would see a player chuck his toy's out of the pram and kick up a fuss in the media, however that's not the case with the Senegalese man.

Speaking to the Guardian Niasse explained how he's looking to prove a point to everyone and show his talent in England, even if it means playing for the under 23's, “If, at any time, Everton need me – for the 23s or the first team – I will be there, because I work for Everton. They paid a lot of money for me and that’s why I feel I have to show something. People say what they think but they don’t know me in England. They have never seen me fit and playing".

For the under 23's Niasse has appeared four times and has played a part in win's against Arsenal, Manchester United and Wolverhampton Wanderers.  In the matches against Arsenal and Manchester United Niasse managed to get his name on the score sheet with two close range efforts, the first against Arsenal was an easy first time finish with his right foot and his second for the under 23's saw Niasse powerfully head home a cross from the right.

Oumar Niasse is certainly looking to prove a point in the under 23's despite him not having a place to store his belonging's as he works hard on the training pitch, “I’m in the dressing-room with the under-23s but I don’t have a locker, the other players have where they put their stuff but I don’t. I come with my bag and I just have a place I know. I put my bag down, I train and after, I put everything in my car and go home".

Despite your opinion on his footballing ability the forward certainly doesn't deserve not having a place at Finch Farm. Something the Senegal man agrees with, nevertheless he hasn't made a fuss instead he's handled the situation excellently,  “It’s sad, it’s really sad. And, to be honest, I think that I don’t deserve this. But what I can do is just keep my head and fight to change things. I’m not going to make a drama over this. I just deal with it. I know that it’s just one period".

It's an attitude that's great to see and who know's, if he continues to score for the under 23's and work hard in training, the future could see him make a return to the first team set up. Niasse has been named in Everton's 25-man squad so all hope isn't lost for the forward and the least his efforts can do is attract interest away from the Toffees.

It's not the first time in his career Oumar Niasse has had to prove himself, in Russia for Lokomotiv Moscow he had to wait before catching flight and over the next few months we'll see if his Everton career is another delayed take off.