After the sale of Stephen Naismith to Norwich City earlier this transfer window, Everton seem to have found a fitting replacement.
The Merseyside club is currently close to an agreement with Russian side FC Lokomotiv Moscow for striker Oumar Niasse. The Toffees are reportedly luring in the Senegalese striker away from Russia with a £13.5million offer, and expect to sign the 25-year-old by the end of the day.
The striker got his start in his home country of Senegal with club US Oukam, leading the side to a Senegal Premier League in 2011. Niasse used his success in Senegal to catapult himself into European football in 2012 where he was loaned to SK Brann in Norway.
His trial with the Norwegians was cut short due to injury as he made only three appearances. In 2013 he earned a trial in France with Saint-Etienne, but was not offered a contract with the club.
That same year he signed a deal with Turkish side Akhisar Belediyespor where he scored 21 goals in 34 appearances. In 2014 he signed with FC Lokomotiv Moscow and was named Russian Premier League Player of the Year in 2015.
This season he’s already netted 13 goals in 21 appearances for the Russian side…
He’s an excellent offensive threat in both finishing and creating chances with effective crosses and through balls.
The Senegalese attacker has tallied eight assists in 21 games this season to add to his scoring abilities. He’s proven to be a clever dribbler and can play either up top or on the wing. His style of play often draws fouls from defenders trying to contain him, but his physical nature and aggressive tackling leads him to commit fouls as well.
The 25-year-old is also not shy on letting a shot loose from far out and has had success doing so in the Russian Premier league so far.
With the departure of Naismith, Manager Roberto Martinez needs another attacker to aid Lukaku and Kone. While their current strikers are great finishers, the two have only combined for eight assists total this campaign.
With the addition of Niasse, they are getting a player who can create chances on the wing. Before Martinez sold Naismith he put him mostly out on the wing in hopes that he could spread out the field and find Lukaku up top to finish. Unfortunately for the Toffees, that was not the case, but with Niasses at the Merseyside their luck could change.
Yes. The asking price from Russia of £13.5m for Niasse is a hefty offer, but Everton were able to squeeze around £8million from Norwich for Naismith earlier this month so they have some extra spending money.
The talent that they are getting for that high price is quality and at 25-years-old we could see him at Goodison Park for years to come. He’ll fit in perfectly with Martinez’s attacking front as he can draw attention and free up space for Lukaku while on the pitch.