Everton manager Ronald Koeman has praised Oumar Niasse for grasping his opportunity against Sunderland and believes the Senegalese outcast deserves a chance to prove himself at Goodison Park.
Niasse, 27, scored his first goal for the Toffees against the Black Cats in the Carabao Cup on Wednesday (20 September), 19 months after joining from Spartak Moscow for £13.5m. The former Hull City loanee took his goal extremely well and outlined himself as a part of the Toffees first-team according to Koeman, who was quick to cast him aside when he first took charge.
"It was a great goal," Koeman told Everton's official website. "His first touch on his chest and his finish with his right foot was great. It was a perfect goal.
"Everybody knows it was a difficult situation for him and it's all about taking your chance when you get an opportunity and he showed that he's part of the team. Finally, you pick the player up and you put the players in the team who deserve it and who give that confidence to the team maybe in a difficult time or difficult moment.
"Maybe he doesn't feel that pressure and that makes him even more dangerous for opponents."
Koeman does not boast an embarrassment of attacking riches at Everton, who failed to bring in an adequate replacement for Romelu Lukaku during the summer transfer window. The Dutchman's lack of options up front has led him to bring in Niasse from the cold, while he has also afforded a number of opportunities to young forward Dominic Calvert-Lewin, who scored a brace against Sunderland.
Many Everton fans have been championing the England youth international's case for regular game-time but Koeman is mindful of not putting to much pressure on the former Sheffield United starlet, who may have earned himself a starting place against Bournemouth on Saturday.
"He's always in my mind. He's still a young player, 20, and sometimes you need to protect him," Koeman said.
"But he's a good player and [in the future] he will be stronger, he will be faster, he will be better. He scored a great first goal, because that's a really important goal, and the second was a good finish as well and killed the game at that time.
"He's working, he's doing well and he's a good boy, but we have other players in that position as well."