Club confirm they are signing Everton ace after outstanding loan spell
Niels Nkounkou’s time at Premier League outfit Everton has come to an end with St Etienne confirming that they have triggered the option-to-buy clause in the defender’s contract.
To think, the former Marseille starlet could still have had a part to play at Goodison Park.
Of all the baffling decisions Everton have made during the tumultuous Farhad Moshiri era, including a £1.5 million purchase clause in the deal that took Niels Nkounkou on loan to St Etienne in January is hardly one that immediately leaps to mind.
But it could still be a decision The Toffees come to regret.
Especially with Les Verts now confirming that they have tied Nkounkou down to a long-term deal. On the same day that forgotten man Ruben Vinagre saw his Everton career come to an end, no less.
Nkounkou, an attack-minded left-back with an eye for goal, might just have been the ideal replacement for a man who returns to Sporting Lisbon having barely kicked a ball under Sean Dyche or Frank Lampard.
Instead, Nkounkou is putting pen to paper on a deal until the summer of 2026 at the Stade Geoffroy Guichard.
Niels Nkounkou leaves Everton after shining on loan
“Saint-Etienne has exercised the purchase option (for) Niels Nkounkou,” reads an official statement from the Ligue 2 outfit.
22-year-old Nkounkou, capped by France at youth level, arrived at Goodison Park back in 2020 when his Marseille contract expired. He made only two Premier League appearances for Everton, however; his development stunted by the near-constant upheaval on the blue side of Stanley Park.
Nkounkou’s outstanding form since joining St Etienne five months ago serves as a reminder as to why Everton were so keen to sign him in the first place. In just 18 Ligue 2 starts, Nkounkou scored six goals and set up eight more from left-back.
It’s tempting to wonder, if Everton had not included such an affordable purchase clause in his St Etienne contract, if Nkounkou would be heading back to Merseyside this summer in order to fight for a place in Dyche’s XI.