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Moise Kean not ready for regular Everton starts

Sunday 29th September 2019
Moise Kean Everton Warren Smith

The Premier League is no place for passengers. Moreover, everyone on board each respective locomotive must be pumping coal for the engine. The Everton express, however, isn’t producing the desired smoke nor fire; with a major culprit being Moise Kean, the junior conductor at Goodison Park station.

Everton. Transfers. Don’t mention them in the same sentence to a Toffees fan, for they simply don't go well together. Ronald Koeman ensured that change, as names like Davy Klassen, Nikola Vlasic and even Wayne Rooney came under the Dutch regime, all showing poor chemistry in the School of Science - all since expelled for poor performances.

Marco Silva promises a new dawn, but hasn’t lifted the veil on poor dealings – having a grand total of five incoming players last year, there’s little conclusiveness to appraise. Yet Richarlison, Yerry Mina and Lucas Digne do decent work just a little over a season in. With the Brazilian winger the core goal threat last year, Silva decided to get full-force forward for his spearhead his 4-2-3-1 formation he’s favoured this term. The forefront incoming player? Ivorian-Italian Kean.

As the only forward coming into Everton this summer, Kean, was expected to come good on the potential he showed as a fringe player at Juventus. Still a teenager, the Italian made 13 appearances last year (usually coming on or off) in Serie A; scoring six goals in the process. Enough for a medal, enough for a contract of employment from Everton.

Seven games in, this author doesn’t believe Kean is going to come good for the Merseyside Blues. Dissecting the seven goals he scored last campaign in Italy, the goals came across six games as he scored one brace – the rest were netted individually. Juventus' formational setup changed from game to game under Massimiliano Allegri, which made them extremely hard to second guess, thusly defeat. In the matches Kean scored in, the 19-year-old had visible strike partners in all bar one. As a rule of thumb, he coupled with another, more experienced, forward when used. He’d be playing alongside Cristiano Ronaldo, Mario Mandzukic or Paulo Dybala – suiting their rotational schedule. Further down the field, the quality was stacked, Miralem Pjanic, Rodrigo Bentacur in addition to Joao Cancelo all provided assists for the youngster.

September 2019

Even in the Italian national setup, Kean’s two goals came when encased with quality - or at least experience, having scored when Roberto Mancini placed him with Ciro Immobile and even veteran Fabio Quagliarella...

Now compare these qualities to those around him at Everton; there’s a difference. His ten teammates he started the game against Sheffield United alongside, were on average aged 26. Whereas the medium age for Juventus players last term was 29, factor in the countless trophies/winning experiences they had –it was a safe space for Kean to cut his teeth. Fabian Delph, Glyfi Sigurdsson plus Seamus Coleman are not quite the same co-workers as the world superstars he was used to. The quality drop from the ever-glorious Juventus to unsolved jigsaw at Goodison has been too much to fathom.

The approach is also radically different, giving Kean a lot of homework to adapt. Within Serie A title-winning side, he as well as others will have been urged to be creative – pass the ball, but believe in your individual skill, Allegri drummed in they were all special. That’s why watching Juventus is so entertaining, there are 11 gifted magicians at any one time. Everton, on the other hand, takes a different ethos. The Toffees are aggressive and urged to pass the ball (in a manner many) if the situation is not useful, the beholder obliged to move it on – wide, short or long – don’t dwell or articulate the play. This dissimilarity evidently caused problems.

Currently, he’s made seven appearances, five of them coming off the bench mustering a 0% conversion rate. Taking around 1.5 shots per game isn’t truly the behaviour expected from a reported £29m transfer acquisition, benched or not. Making it around £3.2m per shot, which isn’t necessarily on-target; most certainly not a goal.

It may take considerable time before Kean gets to any scoring rhythm in England, with the sole contribution to date an assist against Wolves. Furthermore, Dominic Calvert-Lewin surging form may only hinder the Italian’s chances in the starting eleven as the Englishman has four for the season already across the league in addition to cup competitions. 

For what it's worth, in Kean's most recent appearance against Manchester City. The young man looked lively, coming off the bench and making a positive impact. He's still waiting for that vital first goal, though...

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Warren Smith

Yokohama F•Marinos supporter. Seen it all in the J.League, relegation fights and being crowned champions. Play five-a-side, pretty good too. Once scored an overhead kick.

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