Everton: Sissoko denies contact before Spurs move; surprise inclusion in Premier League squad
We may have been told that it was between Everton and Tottenham Hotspur in the race to sign Moussa Sissoko, but the French international has denied ever being close to joining the Toffees.
The 27-year-old eventually joined Spurs for £30 million, just minutes before the transfer window closed, and has today told L’Equipe that he only had his sights set on making the move to White Hart Lane:
“I never went to Everton. It’s funny, I was watching TV, and I could see that it was done with Everton, I had signed. But I was in London and I was just waiting to sign my contract. The bottom line is that I signed for the club where I wanted to go.”
The reaction on Merseyside seems to be one of apathy towards the fact that Sissoko turned down a move to Goodison Park, with supporters more frustrated with the club’s general lack of ruthlessness in the transfer market. Prior to deadline day, Blues boss Ronald Koeman had only managed to secure four new signings, despite being promised a reported £100 million budget to help him strengthen his squad.
19-year-old Dominic Calvert-Lewin joined from Sheffield United on Wednesday, whilst Ecuadorian striker Enner Valencia also joined on a season-long loan from West Ham United, but the major news was of Everton’s failure to secure a number of high-profile targets.
As well as Sissoko, Porto’s Yacine Brahimi and Napoli forward Manolo Gabbiadini were both reported to be targets on deadline day but a failure to secure any of the three was painfully highlighted by the late capture of Valencia, who has failed to find the net in his last 19 games for the Hammers.
Meanwhile, Koeman has announced his Premier League squad for the upcoming season, with the major surprise being the inclusion of Oumar Niasse. The Senegalese attacker has endured a torrid time since joining Everton on the final day of the January transfer window, and was expected to leave this summer after being told that he had no future at the club.
Hull City and Galatasaray were linked with 26-year-old over the summer, whilst there was also talk of a return to former club Lokomotiv Moscow this week, but with the window now closed, it looks as though he will now have to wait until January to get his move away from England.
Niasse’s inclusion in the squad suggests that Koeman may be willing to give him another chance at some point over the coming months. In the brief appearances he has been afforded so far, Niasse has showed nothing to suggest he can make it at Everton but a change in management may at least give him a chance to show why the club splashed out £13.5 million on him. However, the most likely explanation for him being named in the squad is in the event of an injury crisis up front.
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