Everton have earned a reputation of late for making signings that would seemingly signal the dawn of an exciting new era, only for the player in question to fall drastically short of those initial expectations.
No player serves as a more suitable example than Moise Kean. The £27.5million signing of one of Europe’s most promising talents was arguably the most eye-catching transfer of last summer, with the young Italian a bright prospect at the all-conquering Juventus.
However, Kean’s first season in English football has been a nightmare. The 20-year-old has scored just one goal in 26 outings for the Toffees, an abysmal record for a striker of his calibre.
Moise Kean landed himself in hot water on Saturday after breaching lockdown rules
The 20-year-old (R) reportedly held a private party with lap dancers at his Cheshire apartment
It is the latest episode of what has been a nightmare season for the star at Goodison Park
And that’s before delving into his antics off the pitch, which reached an all-time low when he was found to have breached lockdown rules to party at his Cheshire apartment this weekend.
It would be no exaggeration to say that there was a genuine feeling of shock in football circles when Everton announced that they had lured Moise Kean from Juventus and Champions League football.
It seemed a somewhat curious move for the youngster, who had been getting game time, albeit from the bench, at the Old Lady. But Kean had been swayed by Everton’s director of football, Marcel Brands, that the Merseyside club was the perfect location for him to flourish as a top-class striker.
Everton’s signing of Kean for £27.5m last summer raised plenty of eyebrows in football
Kean moved from Juventus in a bid to get more game time and flourish as a top class striker
Everton chief Marcel Brands vowed to Kean’s mother that the club would look after him
‘I was convinced to sign because Everton is a club looking to the future and so am I,’ Kean said upon his unveiling.
Brands’ presentation of an Everton shirt to Kean’s mother and vow to ‘look after’ her son reeked of the PR move that it was. But with the prospect of Kean leading the line for the Toffees, the consistent under-performers were viewed once more as an unknown quantity heading into the campaign.
There was just one problem, though — Marco Silva did not want him. The Athletic reports that the Italian did not even feature on Silva’s five-man shortlist of attacking targets that summer, and that the Portuguese was more interested in signing his Juve team-mate, Mario Mandzukic.
However, former Everton boss Marco Silva did not want him and his game time reflected that
The 20-year-old was punished for turning up late to crucial team meetings under Silva
MOISE KEAN 2019-20
Total minutes: 864
That claim was certainly reflected in Kean’s game time under Silva, who would throw him on in the dying moments in a bid to appease the fans and the onlooking board who had surely wondered why they had shelled out close to £30million for a bit-part player.
The hand dealt to Kean was against him, but the blame for the Italian’s slow start to life in Merseyside does not lie solely with the former Watford boss. Reports suggest that Kean’s attitude in training was lacking, rarely putting in 100 per cent effort during sessions at Finch Farm.
Arriving late for a team meeting before Everton’s crucial game away to Southampton after sleeping in stretched Kean’s relationship with Silva even further. The Italian was made to watch the game from the stands by way of punishment.
Silva’s dismissal presented an opportunity for Kean to start again, to put the five-month nightmare behind him and to knuckle down and prove his worth under Duncan Ferguson, a man renowned for prioritising attitude and commitment over natural talent.
Kean was harshly withdrawn just 19 minutes after being subbed on against Man United
Caretaker boss Duncan Ferguson justified the move but it signalled Kean’s Everton struggles
For reasons that only Ferguson can explain, Kean was unable to make any headway under the no-nonsense Scot. His withdrawal from the 1-1 draw at Old Trafford, just 18 minutes after being substituted on, evoked mass feelings of sympathy among the Everton faithful but only served to highlight that it just wasn’t happening for the youngster.
Ferguson attributed his decision to the fact that Kean ‘struggled to get up to the speed of the game’, with pundits and fans suggesting the Italian was confused by the role expected of him, while others remarked that the striker looked unfit.
Sky Sports pundit Graeme Souness alleged that Kean’s attitude off the field was the cause for his under-performing on it, before comparing the youngster with Emmanuel Adebayor, an accusation that at the time was viewed as wholly unfair and dismissed by most.
Carlo Ancelotti’s arrival was seen as a chance for Kean to start again at Goodison Park
Ferguson made way for Carlo Ancelotti, whose arrival at Goodison Park sent shockwaves through the football world and signalled once again that Everton may finally be moving in the right direction in their bid to break into the Big Six.
There was also a school of thought, too, that if any manager was to get the best out of Moise Kean, it would be Ancelotti. The veteran Italian has built a hugely successful career off the back of galvanising dressing rooms full of expensively-acquired talent. The pair’s shared nationality too was seen as no bad thing.
However, the Italian has made just two league starts from eleven under the veteran manager
Again, very little changed for Kean following Ancelotti’s arrival. The 20-year-old has started just two of Everton’s eleven Premier League games with Ancelotti at the helm, playing a combined 316 minutes across those games.
Three different managers, each vastly contrasting in their style of management, and none has got a tune out of Moise Kean.
And the Italian’s misery reached fever pitch on Saturday evening when his club released a statement expressing that they were ‘appalled’ by the antics of their £27.5million signing this weekend.
It remains to be seen whether Kean can get back on track, but time is running out at Everton
Kean reportedly sent footage of himself and a group of lap dancers partying at his Cheshire apartment to a private snapchat group, in clear breach of the Government’s guidelines on the coronavirus lockdown.
His club labelled the behaviour ‘unacceptable’, and are considering whether to take further disciplinary action against their star signing.
Kean’s latest antics underline what has been a nightmare move to England. At 20 years of age, he has plenty of time to get back on track, although time may be quickly running out at Goodison Park.