In 2017, he became the first player born in the 2000s to score in Europe’s top five leagues. Now Moise Kean‘s departure from Juventus to Everton in a €31.2M has been confirmed. In a seemingly premature end to his Serie A career, how did Italy lose its gem? And what has the signing done to Everton’s chances of finishing in a European place in 2018/19? The sports betting leaders have Everton at 5/1 to finish in the Premier League top six – but will that change with the signing of Moise Kean?
The 19-year-old had shown so much promise in front of goal and a maturity on the ball that belied his tender years. A true poster boy for teenage footballers; his league and Champions League debuts marked the first by a 2000s-born in the top five leagues, as well as his first goals for Juve and the Italy national team.
A year developing out on loan at Torino followed his debut season; and he was ready for a crack at the Juventus first team last season. He sure held his own in a squad with an attacking role call of Ronaldo, Mandzukic and Dybala.
As evidenced by an eye-catching six goals in 13 Serie A games (only 536 minutes played) and 1.5 shots per game; Everton are getting a player who knows how to find the back of the net. Gylfi Sigurdsson would be particularly looking forward to linking up with Kean, the Icelander provided six assists and created 11 big chances at a rate of 1.9 per game last season.
Kean hit a hot streak of form in Spring with six goals in as many games for club and country. During this period, he was the victim of racial abuse from some of the Cagliari home supporters in April; and displayed his strong character after scoring the winner with a muted arms-stretched celebration in front of his abusers.
His reaction drew further jeers from the crowd but in shocking circumstances, he was criticised for ‘provoking’ the crowd rather than his brave response to racism. This lack of support from those who should have backed him seems to have influenced his decision to leave Italy. Besides moving to a team where his strengths would be harnessed, the Premier League offers an environment where footballers are standing up to discrimination.
Although getting €30million and a reported buy-back clause is still a good piece of business, eight goals in 21 total appearances for the Bianconeri deserved a chance. Perhaps focused on the desire to win the Champion League with a big squad, Juventus have lost a shining light of Italian football. It’s ultimately the Premier League’s gain.