Everton supporters have been pretty disappointed in recent times after seeing their side suffer a fifth Premier League defeat of the campaign on Saturday.
Marco Silva’s men went into their encounter with defending champions Manchester City off the back of successive home draws against Newcastle United and Watford, and thus seeking to get back to winning ways when they travelled to the Etihad Stadium. Yet the Toffees were undone by City’s brilliance on Saturday as a brace from Gabriel Jesus alongside a Raheem Sterling strike inspired the hosts to a 3-1 success, thus instigating Everton’s fall to eighth place in the Premier League table.
As such, there have been many despondent Evertonians up and down the country in recent times, several of whom are hoping for more from their side though as the season wears on after their relatively successful business in the summer transfer window.
The club’s hierarchy were duly praised for some of the signings they made during the close season, yet the same can’t really be said of the £16.11 million (as per Transfermarkt) they spent on striker Oumar Niasse back in February 2016.
It was former manager Roberto Martinez who secured a deal for the 28-year-old – a deal which very much summed up the challenging, and ultimately worsening, final few months of Martinez’s reign at Goodison Park.
Ultimately, the ex-Wigan Athletic boss did a fine job at Everton after taking over from Manchester United-bound David Moyes back in the summer of 2013, leading the Toffees to fifth place in his first season in charge, in turn qualifying for the following season’s Europa League in which they reached the last 16.
But things didn’t so quite so well in the Premier League for the Merseysiders in 2014/15 given they finished 11th, and Martinez wasn’t able to oversee any improvement the campaign after as his side ended up 11th once again, with the Spaniard relieved of his duties before the final game of the season.
And one of the signings he had hoped would inspire his team in the second half of that season was 28-year-old Niasse, only for the Senegal international to flop, and indeed continue to flop, in the blue of Everton.
The striker went on to appear just five times under Martinez in the second half of that campaign and failed to net in any of those appearances, and his fortunes didn’t exactly improve under Martinez’s successor Ronald Koeman given Niasse failed to feature at all for the Toffees in the 2016/17 season, eventually earning a loan move to Hull City.
Yet upon return to Goodison Park ahead of the 2017/18 season, he began to prove his worth by netting eight times in just 22 Premier League games last term to help the unstable Toffees eventually finish eighth under the stewardship of Sam Allardyce, who replaced the sacked Koeman during the autumn.
And just when it looked like the 28-year-old was beginning to find his feet in English football, he has found game time hard to come by under Silva in appearing only four times in the league this term, the last of which coming back in September in their 3-1 defeat to West Ham – he simply isn’t the answer to their number nine woes.
Overall, while there have been some glimpses of promise, the signing of Niasse has proven to be a huge blunder and a disaster by the Toffees hierarchy, and very much a waste of £16.11 million – significantly, it summed up Martinez’s testing final few months in charge of the Merseyside outfit.
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