From a prospect at the Juventus academy to a first-team prodigy, an out-of-favour outlet under Carlo Ancelotti at Everton to an emerging star at PSG, the journey of Moise Boity Kean surely includes some noteworthy affairs.
Having played 21 games and scored 8 goals for the senior Bianconeri side, Kean, with the anticipation of playing more regularly, moved to Everton in the summer of 2019 for a reported transfer fee of €27.5 million.
An unsettled period at Merseyside
Once touted as ‘the next big thing’ in Italian football, Moise Kean embarked upon his new voyage to challenge the physical facet of the game played in the English Premier League.
Tough, an array of unprecedented and unfortunate scenarios saw the 20-year-old struggling hard to cope with the robustness of the English game. And the lack of playing time soon pushed the starlet toward the periphery.
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For Kean, the first shock arrived when Everton’s then-manager Marco Silva — the person that brought in the Vercelli-born forward from Juventus — got the sack following a steady run of poor results and mediocre performances, leaving his latest addition with nothing but the hope of the next manager potentially being protective of the player.
But reality came with bitter harshness for the youngster as Everton’s newly-appointed manager, Carlo Ancelotti, was not that impressed by Kean’s attributes.
Ever since making the throne at the Merseyside club, the Italian boss has always favoured the pair of Richarlison and Dominic Calvert-Lewin in his conventional 4-4-2 system.
Utterly frustrated and a surplus to Ancelotti’s requirements, Kean secured a loan move to PSG last summer, having played 1,141 minutes of football for the Toffees and recorded 4 goals and 2 assists across all competitions.
The resurrection at PSG
Having released a relentless marksman like Edinson Cavani last summer, Paris Saint-Germain were in dire need of a regular goalscorer. Kean’s arrival on a season-long loan from Everton provided them with some much-needed respite.
With Mauro Icardi missing the majority of the campaign through his own injury concerns here and there, Kean has upped his game to a great extent, becoming the impetus in the frontline for the French side and having added 14 goals and 1 assist to his name from only 26 matches so far.
His overall movement off the ball has been better this season, helping the forward find spaces behind the opposing defence-line. Adding to that, Kean’s physicality has improved and body muscles have bulked up, sharpening his hold-up play with his back against the thickest of Ligue 1 defenders.
According to the stats provided by StasBomb (via Fbref.com), Kean maintains a non-penalty expected goal (npxG) of 0.58 per game — the best in his professional footballing career thus far, meaning he is getting into more cute positions to find the back of the net this season than ever before. And the goal tally truly backs up the numbers here.
Reports believe the Italy international would love to continue his progress at “the City of Love”, with PSG also dreaming of making the forward’s short-lived loan spell permanent. However, Everton, Kean’s parent club, could demand a jaw-dropping transfer fee of £70 million in return for a permanent move, believes Fabrizio Romano.
A possible Juventus and Moise Kean reunion?
If the aforementioned rumours are believed to be true, Juventus and Andrea Pirlo seemingly hold an affection for Kean and could move to bring the shooter back to Turin in the next summer transfer window.
But before moving on to how Kean’s return might aid the Serie A side, we should first gauge the magnitude of the ongoing conundrums at the Juventus forward-line.
If asked about whom Juventus should rely upon in their time of need for goals, many of you, without even thinking twice, would consider uttering the name of Cristiano Ronaldo or some of you mayhap, out of empathy, would choose Paulo Dybala and Alvaro Morata, on loan from Atletico Madrid.
Then, the neglected candidate would be Dejan Kulusevski, who has played within Prilo’s two-striker role upfront many times this season. But is he truly the individual one should look up for goals on a weekly basis? With all due respect to the 20-year-old Kulusevski, finding the goalscorer is more of his game rather than scoring goals.
Juve’s goalscoring stats, in the Seria A 2020-21, demonstrate how badly the Bianconeri would have struggled if Ronaldo, now 36, hadn’t scored the whooping 16 goals (And for those deeply interested parties, this includes only four penalties) from 19 games.
Other than Ronaldo, Federico Chiesa has 6 from 19 games and Morata has 4 from 17 this season so far — this is not good enough for a team looking to seize their 10th consecutive scudetto and also keeping an eye on this season’s UEFA Champions League title.
While Paulo Dybala’s absence due to an ill-fated knee injury has not let him embrace his peak under Juve’s new manager Andrea Pirlo — with the Argentine only scoring twice from 12 league appearances this season, it’s still unconfirmed whether Morata will be staying with the Bianconeri beyond the conclusion of his loan spell in June 2021.
And what if Atletico Madrid ask for something akin to what Everton are looking for Kean? Amidst the financial turmoil inflicted by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, Pirlo has other enigmas to solve too.
Remodifying the midfield is one of the many jobs that Pirlo would like to carry out in the forthcoming summer. And Paul Pogba is the name that has had continuously been linked with a summer move to Turin — he won’t come cheap either. Considering all these aspects, a judgment could be made that splashing a fee of around £70 million on a 20-year-old asset would be a no-brainer.
On the bright side, though, Keane is only 20, meaning Juve would still be able to mould the frontman in the way they would want, bearing in mind that he is already an apt predator in front of goal.
On the other hand, the Juventus management should confront a question — are they willing to take the risk and put the onus of scoring goals on Cristiano Ronaldo’s shoulders for yet another season?
If the answer is ‘no!’, then yes they should buy a sharp-witted goalscorer next summer — perhaps someone else, if not Morata or our protagonist, Moise Kean.
As of now, going into another new campaign without a sharpshooter would be suicidal for a club possessing Juve’s ambitions. And if not Kean, then it should be someone of Kean’s ilk that Juve should be looking to acquire while hunting for the next striker.