Everton are close to sealing a £2 million bid for highly rated French youngster M’Baye Niang but AC Milan could still hijack a move for the Caen forward.
The 17-year-old is one of the hottest prospects in European football and has spent time on trial at both Milan and Everton and also Arsenal. Reports in both England and Italy claim Niang is heading to Goodison Park or the San Siro respectively and it seems unlikely that he will remain a Caen player once the transfer window closes.
Niang made his debut for the Normandy club in April 2011 as a 16-year-old, becoming the youngest player in the clubs history. He grabbed his first goal for the club on his third appearance as Caen drew 1-1 with Lens, making him the second youngest scorer in Ligue 1 history.
Big things are expected of the French under-21 and should they sign him Everton fans can look forward to watching an emerging star blossom into a top quality player. Below I discuss why.
- Despite his tender years, the six foot striker is a physically imposing player and should arrive in the Premier League capable of competing with the toughest defenders. Added to his height is a great upper body strength and a good turn of pace which make him a real handful for defenders and he’s only going to get quicker and stronger. Although not his preferred role Niang could play as a target man and is potentially a great foil for the subtleties of Nikica Jelavic.
The Complete Forward
- While Niang is in the business of getting goals, which he is more than capable of doing, there is so much more to his game. We’ve already spoken of his physical attributes and he supports this with intelligent movement which makes him a nightmare for defenders to pick up. So far, the youngster has showed a real maturity in his approach to the game, particularly in his decisions making. Goals aside, he has a good eye for a pass and Everton fans can expect him to lay on chances for his team mates. His link up play is also extremely good for a boy of his age. Excited yet? The best is still to come. Niang is very much in the same mould as Thierry Henry. He boasts dribbling skills to rival any winger and prefers to start his runs from a wide position before cutting in to good effect.
He will get better
- Highlighting his best bits and it sounds like Niang is the finished article. He’s not, but he is very good for his age and he will only get better. There are areas of his game he needs to work on, his concentration and playing with his back to goal but that will come with experience as he matures. What is exciting about Niang is that he could potentially fill a number of forward roles, which is testament to the flashes of all round ability he has already shown. Should the next stage of his development be with Everton then they could well have a top quality forward on their hands in a few years time.