Oumar Niasse doesn’t understand why he’s training with Everton’s reserve side, why he’s without a locker, and why his £13.5-million move to the Premier League has become a form of punishment.

But nevertheless, he still thinks he has a future with this team – and in this league.

Forty five minutes of football is all Niasse has played under manager Ronald Koeman – and it came in a preseason friendly. The 26-year-old said he was then called into the Dutchman’s office, where he was informed he had no place in his plans.

“It’s sad, it’s really sad,” the Senegalese striker told the Guardian’s David Hynter. “And, to be honest, I think that I don’t deserve this. But what I can do is just keep my head and fight to change things. I’m not going to make a drama over this. I just deal with it. I know that it’s just one period.”

Niasse has no ill will towards Koeman or Roberto Martinez, the man who made the player Everton’s fourth-biggest purchase. Martinez didn’t give Niasse much of an opportunity, either.

But Koeman’s abrupt orders befuddled the former Lokomotiv Moscow poacher. Niasse didn’t think he played particularly poorly in the July exhibition against Czech outfit FK Jablonec, but Koeman left no room for misinterpretation.

“Koeman said, ‘You have to leave.’ I couldn’t understand how that decision could have been made after 45 minutes, but I just said, ‘OK, thank you.’ It’s his decision. He’s the manager. What can I do?” Niasse recounted.

“I called my agent and he said that he would look into the opportunities for me. To be honest, I didn’t ask Koeman to explain his reasons. I just thought, even if I asked why, I would never understand. After just 45 minutes, you cannot say to me, ‘You are no good.'”

He said there were offers from Portugal, Germany, Spain, and Turkey, but his desire is to stay in England.

Niasse’s will to prove himself shines through. He doesn’t look down on the under-23 players he trains with – “I give them respect,” he said – and he doesn’t act like he’s owed a better career. With a contract until 2020, Niasse clearly believes he still has something to offer to Everton.

He made a name for himself in Russia as a goalscorer with the strength to play as a target man and the pace to track back. Before he secured the switch to Merseyside, he had scored 13 goals and added 10 assists in the Russian Premier League.

The past 10 months tell a different story. He made just seven appearances for Everton to end the 2015-16 campaign, and he was arrested on suspicion of assault in May.

But it will take more than football purgatory to deter Niasse.

“I want to show myself in the Premier League and I hope it can be at Everton, because it’s the team that I’m feeling,” he said. “Every weekend, I’m watching the games, I’m supporting the team, I’m behind them. I’m a blue.

“But, if I get the opportunity to show what I can do at another Premier League team, I will go and I will do it. You never know what can happen. This is football.”

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