Why Everton signing Niels Nkounkou is a step in the right direction by the Merseyside club
According to Daily Mail, Everton have signed teenage defender Niels Nkounkou on a free transfer recently.
The 19-year-old left-back, who is also capable of playing in the midfield, was roped in by Carlo Ancelotti’s side after his contract with former side Marseille expired. Having arrived at Goodison Park last week, Nkounkou has become the Toffees’ first summer signing ahead of the new season.
The young Frenchman, who signed a three-year deal with the Merseyside club is not expected to be a regular starter and will join David Unsworth’s under-23 squad before making a first-team appearance.
Left-back Nkounkou joined Marseille just two years ago following his rise through the academy ranks of French side Stade Brest. The 19-year-old however, did not make a single first-team appearance for the Ligue 1 side despite featuring on Andre Villas-Boas’ bench twice this season before the expiry of his contract.
Nkounkou an excellent future signing by Everton
Meanwhile, Nkounkou seems like an excellent future signing for Premier League side Everton, who have had a difficult campaign so far. Though Ancelotti’s arrival stabilised the side, they are still 11th in the league table (at the time of writing) and are clearly in need of reinforcements.
Everton have suffered a lot defensively this season but the left-back position has not been a major concern for Everton due to the good form of their first-choice man Lucas Digne. However, there still remain some unresolved issues.
Apart from Digne, the Toffees have club legend and veteran defender Leighton Baines also a back-up. The English left-back is already 35 and is yet to sign a one-year contract extension that Everton have offered him.
Considering all this, teenager Nkounkou’s arrival is a welcome sign for the Merseyside club. Despite the fact that Digne and Baines still remain the players ahead of Nkounkou in the left-back pecking order, the youngster is sure to get more opportunities in the future if he continues to show promise.
Baines’ uncertain future at Goodison Park and his growing age remain a major concern for the side, and Nkounkou’s inclusion will only offer Ancelotti more options next season. Thus, Everton’s decision to sign a rising talent like Nkounkou is indeed a wise move with a clear eye in the future.
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Everton’s left-back depth would increase by the arrival of teenager Nkounkou. Moreover, he is still in his teens and can develop further under the guidance of a coach like Ancelotti. Though first-team opportunities seem rare at the moment, he could also prove to be an excellent future investment by the club.