Everton completed the signing of French youngster Niels Nkounkou on a free transfer from Olympique Marseille. He was subject to interest from several clubs, and was linked to likes of Leipzig & Juventus, but Everton fought off interests to bring him to Goodison Park under manager Carlo Ancelotti.
French media outlet La Provence reported that Everton will have to pay €270,000 to Olympique as ‘training compensation’ for nurturing the defender from a young age.
The training compensation rule from FIFA states that if a young player does decide to sign a professional contract with a different club against his parent club, a training compensation will be paid by the new club so that the parent club does not lose out financially after spending on the player’s development.
The player’s agent, Yvan Le Mee revealed the thinking behind his client’s move to Everton, “In Marseille, you have Amavi, Rocchia, Sakai, Sarr and even Khaoui who played in the left-back position. Niels did not get a minute of play. We, therefore, consider that Niels’ chances of playing at Marseille are slim. Especially since Marseille is looking for a left-back to compete with Amavi. This is the reason why we chose Everton.”
“Today there is a strong start-up [at Everton], it is Lucas Digne, and there is Leighton Baines who plays less. If Niels is strong enough, he can be the understudy of Digne and if he is not strong and he has trouble adapting in England, he will be at worst, third choice.”
Everton’s veteran left-back Leighton Baines is out of contract at the end of the season, but the 35-year-old has been offered a one-year extension by the board. The arrival of Nkounkou will mean that Everton have a long-term replacement for Baines, who could potentially develop into a future star for the Toffees.
Manager Carlo Ancelotti recently revealed that he is working with a young, exciting squad, but they will compete for the title, no matter how long it takes. “I don’t know how long it will take but I hope that soon we are able to compete. We have a young squad with young players with a lot of skills, a lot of ability. I think just the fact that we can improve this skill and this ability can give us more opportunity to stay at the top. ”
Everton have a very good mixture of youth and experience in their ranks, with Dominic Calvert-Lewin, Mason Holgate, Tom Davies mixing well with the likes of Gylfi Sigurðsson, Richarlison and Moise Kean.