Former Everton left-back Michael Ball has been discussing the future of 20-year-old Toffees left-back Niels Nkounkou.
The Frenchman was signed by the Merseyside club from Ligue 1 side Marseille during the summer transfer window for £243k but it may be fair to say he’s failed to make much of an impact for Carlo Ancelotti’s side so far this term.
Struggling for game time
Per Transfermarkt, Nkounkou is one of two natural left-backs within the Toffees’ first-team squad, however, despite Everton’s other natural left-back, Nkounkou’s compatriot Lucas Digne, being unavailable for the Toffees’ last three Premier League games after sustaining an ankle ligament injury, the 20-year-old Frenchman has made just one top-flight appearance this season and has failed to make the matchday squad for 9 of Everton’s 12 Premier League games this term – including the last three which Digne has been absent for.
Ancelotti was slated by fans for exiling the youngster despite the injury troubles in defence.
What has Ball said about Nkounkou’s Everton future?
Earlier this month, Ball shared he was surprised by Nkounkou’s absence from the Toffees’ squad after Digne’s injury and suggested that the £2.7m-rated man has to look at himself to find the reasons for his absence from the squad.
Now, in his latest column for The Liverpool Echo, the ex-Toffees player has discussed the possibility of the summer signing leaving Goodison Park on loan when the transfer window re-opens next month, saying that he’d understand if the “obsolete” player, whose current situation he’s described as “disappointing,” was being looked at by the club for a potential loan departure, but stressing that he believes this would only happen if the Toffees bring in a different left-back first, indicating that he still thinks Nkounkou’s presence in the squad is valuable.
Should Nkounkou be sent on loan in January?
Given that he’s enjoyed so little game time for Ancelotti’s side this season despite Everton’s issues at left-back, it may be understandable if the Toffees do look to send Nkounkou on loan and as he’s not been featuring for the first-team squad despite seemingly being the club’s only fit senior left-back.
Perhaps a loan move would be the best outcome regardless of whether or not Everton can bring a different left-back into the club, if the Frenchman isn’t going to be played anyway.
Click here to comment on this articleor
Give us feedback on your Football Transfer Tavern experience