Moise Kean – Everton’s new star striker?

Earlier this month, Everton signed Moise Kean from Juventus for a reported £25 million fee.

At just 19, fans may wonder whether this is money well spent, considering the little experience the Italian international has on the big stage.

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However, Kean has both the talent, as seen by his consistent performances last season, as well as the experience- he has been playing in Serie A for two years

The earliest memory I have of Moise Kean came in November 2016 with fresh faced 16-year-old coming on to make his debut against Pescara.

He taps the hand of the departing Mandzukic, gives him an unwavering smirk and jolts onto the pitch. The Juventus fans go wild.

Kean was not an unknown teenager to most of the Turin faithful; the previous season he had blazed Italian youth teams, scoring 24 goals in 25 games

Big things were expected of this sprightly, fresh youngster. Even on his debut, a cameo of no more than ten minutes- he impressed.

Thanks to that appearance, Kean became the club’s youngest-ever debutant and the first player born in the 2000’s to compete in one of Europe’s major five leagues.

Just three days later, he broke another record, becoming the first player born in the 2000s to feature in a Champions League match, a 3-1 away win over Sevilla.

Kean went on to break a hat-trick of records on the final day of the 2016/17 season as he became the first player born in the 2000s to score a goal in Europe’s major five leagues.

Moise Kean has been seen as the real deal for at least three years and, despite his departure from Juventus, he continues to live up to the hype.

The following season he was loaned out to Italian club Hellas Verona where he scored a respectable four goals in 20 appearances considering he was mostly used off the bench.

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However, it was last season where Kean really came to the fore.

In Serie A he made 13 appearances and scored six goals and made one assist but that does not tell the full story.

In most games, he was substituted on as an impact sub and the six goals that he scored came in just 533 minutes, a phenomenal record of one every 89 minutes.

Statistically speaking, Kean looks to be the clinical marksman that Everton have been crying out for since the departure of Romelu Lukaku.

Like Lukaku, it is probable that Kean will be deployed as the lone striker at the tip of Marco Silva’s 4-2-3-1 formation, with Richarlison, Gylfi Sigurdsson and Bernard all playing behind the front man.

Although he is still only 19 , Kean is 6’0 and possesses a broad frame, allowing him to shrug off defenders and hold the ball up for onrushing teammates, something that Dominic Calvert-Lewin has excelled at for Everton recently.

One area where Kean outshines Calvert Lewin is finishing ability.

Despite both players scoring six goals in their respective leagues last season, Calvert Lewin played 22 more games and accumulated significantly more minutes.

Kean offers Everton a genuine goal threat; last season he had a high volume of shots per 90 (3.1), with most of these coming inside the box, he possesses the typical traits of a proficient poacher.

What is more, is Kean’s handy dribbling ability.

He completed 1.39 dribbles per 90 last season, which allows him to get in behind defences by his own accord.

If Kean is able to maximise this dribbling ability and consistently finish, then he will become an extremely valuable asset to Everton’s attacking set-up.

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Despite these qualities, questions still remain over some aspects of Kean’s game.

What is most striking when compared to Calvert Lewin is Kean’s inferior aerial ability.

He is a striker that prefer the ball rolled into fit, rather than in the air, where he is less comfortable and less proficient and retaining possession, or even scoring a goal.

This may be a problem for Everton, as they had more crosses (814) than any team in the Premier League last season, and they scored the joint third most headed goals (13), nearly one quarter of their total goals.

Perhaps, with Marco Silva, Everton are adjusting their attacking approach to play a shorter passing style of football, and one that gets the centre forward involved in the build-up, after all that would play to Kean’s strengths.

The argument has also been made that Kean was playing with a higher calibre of player at Juventus.

Granted, Juventus’ team boasts some of the best players in the world: Cristiano Ronaldo, Mario Mandzukic, Miralem Pjanic and Rodrigo Bentancur to name a few, but this should not take away from Kean’s ability to finish the chances presented to him.

In fact, Kean’s very inclusion in such a talented squad should lay credence to the ability of the young Italian striker, not every 19-year-old can make an impact at one of Europe’s giants.

Furthermore, Everton also possess the players that can unlock Kean’s attacking potential. In Sigurdsson they have one of the best attacking midfielders in the league, who has the intelligence to immediately understand the typical traits of his strikers.

Whilst Richarlison and Bernard pace and trickery should both create direct chances for Kean, and draw defenders away from the striker.

Ultimately, Kean should be able to flourish in the Premier League.

With youth on his side he has plenty of time and room to develop as a striker.

He will be tasked with leading the Everton attack this season, a new responsibility which I believe he will relish.

If he can replicate last season’s achievements then he is likely to propel Everton into the top six, if not higher.

As someone who has watched him develop as a player over the past few years, and also develop as a man (following some of the shocking abuse he received whilst playing in Italy), I hope, and trust, that Kean will set the Premier League alight.

The Author

Joseph Odell

21 year old who has recently graduated from Uni of Southampton. I also write articles for TotalFootballAnalysis and Soccerlit. Support Arsenal too!

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