Everton star Oumar Niasse: Koeman tried to 'destroy' me

Oumar Niasse has revealed the extraordinary measures Ronald Koeman took in an attempt to force him out of Everton and says only a 'very strong mentality' allowed him to endure it.

Oumar Niasse has revealed the extraordinary measures Ronald Koeman took in an attempt to force him out of Everton and says only a 'very strong mentality' enabled him to endure it.

The Senegalese was ostracised by Koeman at the start of last season when he was forced to play with the Under 23 side before moving to Hull City on loan in January.

Surprisingly, Niasse has since outlasted the Dutchman, who was sacked last month after a string of poor performances, and finds himself firmly in the first-team picture with six goals to his name this season.

Everton's Oumar Niasse celebrates his latest goal for the club against Crystal Palace

Everton's Oumar Niasse celebrates his latest goal for the club against Crystal Palace

With Koeman now out of the picture, Niasse opened up about the difficult time he had to endure under his tenure, telling BBC World Service that he had his locker and shirt number taken away from him.

Niasse said: ‘When Koeman arrived I was a real good target to destroy. He tried but I was strong enough to stay. I worked so hard so I had to stay in the Premier League. 

'For him to make me give up and go he had to do a lot of things that were not nice – taking my locker, taking my shirt number, take me out of the dining room where we eat, take me out of training and sending me to the Under 23s without a locker there.

The striker has fought his way back into Everton's plans with six goals to his name this season

The striker has fought his way back into Everton's plans with six goals to his name this season

'It’s very difficult. You need a very strong mentality to deal with that because you don’t have any respect in the club. Using the word slavery is too much but it is very difficult, that is all I can say.’

Niasse, who is currently Everton's top scorer this season, hit the headlines earlier this week after becoming the first Premier League player to be banned for diving since the Football Association's introduction of new retrospective measures.

He was handed a two-match suspension after an independent panel decided he was guilty of simulation in his attempt to successfully win a penalty from Anthony Taylor in Everton's 2-2 draw against Crystal Palace. 

Everton have since announced their intention to appeal against the suspension.

Ronald Koeman went to extraordinary lengths in an attempt to force Niasse out of the club

Ronald Koeman went to extraordinary lengths in an attempt to force Niasse out of the club