22-year-old Everton star Niels Nkounkou has won the Player of the Month Award for April at French side Saint Etienne.
The ‘sensational’ young left-back scored four goals and contributed two assists in five fixtures throughout the month of April and has six goals and seven assists in 17 games overall so far this campaign.
Indeed, since joining the French second division side on loan back in January, Nkounou has blossomed, playing in a wing-back role with the freedom to express himself in attack.
There is little doubt that Everton need to invest in their left side, and perhaps the French defender could work his way into Sean Dyche’s plans for next season.
Nkounkou could bring competition for left back spot next season for Everton
Ukrainian international Vitalii Mykolenko currently occupies Everton’s left-back spot since his January 2022 arrival from Dynamo Kyiv in a £17m deal, though the 23-year-old has failed to register a single goal or assist all season.
Ruben Vinagre joined the club on loan from Sporting CP last summer, but has barely featured, making just two appearances all season, so will likely return to Portugal.
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Meanwhile, the versatile Mason Holgate has looked out of sorts when he has filled in at left-back, notably against Manchester City last week, when the 26-year-old heavily relied upon the assistance of winger Dwight McNeil, before being subbed in the 56th minute.
Consequently, there is little competition for Mykolenko amongst Dyche’s current options, and Nkounkou’s time away from Goodison Park appears to have allowed him to develop his clear potential.
A return to Merseyside following his loan could see the young man develop into the player that fans believe he has the potential to become.
Entering into the final year of his current contract at Everton, the Blues have a decision to make on the young man’s future, but he could provide a solution to the club’s left-sided problems.