Sunday April 26 2020
Make or break for Moise

After Moise Kean foolishly threw a coronavirus lockdown party, Livio Caferoglu is worried Italy could be losing another promising talent.

How Graeme Souness must be feeling. The former Torino midfielder, in his role as a pundit for Sky Sports, had already passed judgment for Moise Kean just four goalless games into his Everton career with a scathing critique of the striker’s character. His argument was why Juventus had opted to cash in on a player supposedly with the world at his feet.

“At 19, why have they sold him?” he asked. “Personally, slight alarm bell going off in my head. Juventus are arguably the biggest club in Italy, wealthiest club in Italy. Given that they’ve got an older strike force, you’re selling a 19-year-old, who won’t be hurting you wage-wise. They’ve not got £100m-plus for him. I think there’ll be other issues there.

“I don’t know if Juve have a buy-back clause. If they don’t, then that will tell you they’re happy to see him out the door. At 19. It doesn’t make any common sense if you’re Juventus. It’s as if they’re like, ‘Go on, we don’t care how good he’s going to be, you can take him’. Which would suggest off the field activities are not the best.”

The knives soon came out for Souness, with sections of the media quick to point out that Kean had only one year left on his contract with Juve, didn’t sign an extension and the Bianconeri preferred not to lose him for nothing. He was also facing accusations of racial stereotyping, having compared the Italian to Emmanuel Adebayor – a fellow black footballer with a track record of courting controversy.

Everton fans immediately warmed to Kean and did all they could to protect him, raising money to produce a banner with his face and the message ‘No Al Razzismo’, which translates to ‘No to Racism’ in English. They felt the youngster, who was racially abused during Juve’s 2-0 win at Cagliari last season, deserved to shine on a platform devoid of any discrimination.

Sadly for supporters of Kean and Everton, the 20-year-old has given the Toffees minimal return on their €27.5m investment, managing just one goal and an assist in the 22 games since Souness’ outburst. His move to Goodison Park should’ve been the making of him at the highest level, but it has instead been blemished by several off-field misdemeanours.

The most recent came just yesterday, when it emerged Kean had livestreamed a house party at his flat in a private Snapchat group, showing ‘female guests giving lap dances and other suggestive acts’. All of this, despite the UK being placed in a nationwide lockdown to combat the coronavirus pandemic, which has resulted in more than 20,000 British deaths. Being late for training sessions is one thing, putting lives at risk is another entirely.

Of course, as bad as it was, he isn’t the Premier League’s biggest ‘covidiot’. That honour goes to Jack Grealish, who allegedly crashed his Range Rover following a 4am party, just hours after he urged fans to stay indoors. And staying in England, Manchester City defender Kyle Walker faces disciplinary action after he hosted a party involving two sex workers. Compared to them, Kean’s little get-together was positively puritan.

Kean has already made history for Italy, becoming the second-youngest player to ever score in an Azzurri jersey when he found the back of the net against Finland in March 2019. He bagged his second goal just three days later and went on to score in four consecutive matches for Juve, but 12 months on and he finds himself on a downward curve that risks spiralling out of control.

Many have likened Kean to Mario Balotelli, a comparison that reeks of racial profiling on the surface. But look closer and there are many more similarities between them. “When I was younger I liked Mario Balotelli, especially during his time at Inter. Mario, too, has been an inspiration for me,” the Everton forward was once quoted as saying.

They also share an agent in Mino Raiola, play in the same position, represent the same country and chose to swap Serie A for the Premier League at a young age. On paper Balotelli may not have been the best choice of role model, given the nomadic nature of his career trajectory, but there are certainly worse than the Brescia hitman, who is teetotal and a pioneer for black Italian footballers.

We’ve seen too many Italian talents fall by the wayside because they lacked the focus and mentality to match their talent. Antonio Cassano this week called himself “the biggest waste of talent” and it’s too late for him to change that history now. It’s not too late for Kean, or Nicolò Zaniolo, his partner in crime during the Italy Under-21 European Championships when they were frozen out for repeatedly turning up late to team meetings.

The COVID-19 crisis has bought Kean some extra time and he has been linked with moves back to Italy in recent months, which suggests he is still valued back home. Maybe he should use the time to look to his inspiration and take note of what not to do, instead of throwing parties during a pandemic, if he wants to avoid becoming the Azzurri’s next great lost hope.

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Have your say...
1st thing we must remember is the kid IS a kid...imagine being his age and on one of greatest clubs in history, and playing with CR7 Buffon Dybala etc.very surprised his stint at Everton was a bust. really expected him to grow and impress. he has another year and chance to prove his worth to calcio and La Nazionale. idk why everything always boils down to racism but it seems like a crutch or excuse nowadays. no doubt days of clutch strikers BAGGIO VIERI TONI r gone. need to find 1 soon by 2021.
on the 30th April, 2020 at 3:53am
It has pretty much been a disaster up front for italy over the last decade cassano a headcase, balotelli a spoilt prat, g rossi always injured, quagliarella mentally screwed by a stalker, giovinco sent off into obscurity plus a bunch of players who weren't ever really good enough.

Immobile being a example of what you can achieve if desire and focus. It is only my opinion but he has made himself into a drop no one really fancied him as a youngster now he best italian striker around.
on the 27th April, 2020 at 6:47pm
If you actually watch him play his technique is nowhere near the level of Balotelli at the same age. He also doesn't have any real physical attributes, he's not particularly big to play as a target man and he doesn't have blistering pace to stretch defenses. Combine that with his poor attitude and he will never make it to the top level. Before I watched him and had only seen his stats I was so excited by the prospect only to be left disappointed by what I saw.
on the 27th April, 2020 at 2:58pm
The first time I heard that quote about Balotelli, I knew Kean was bad news. All the evidence so far suggests this guy is just another class clown. Apparently he has taken the petty action of removing Everton from his Instagram bio after the latest incident, suggesting he doesn't take discipline too well, like a certain someone.
on the 27th April, 2020 at 9:56am
Kid got talent. But all we've seen is flashy clothes and hanging out on Instagram. Needs to put or shut up now. Hate to see this kid become Cassano 2.0
on the 27th April, 2020 at 12:36am
Comparing him to Balotelli or Adebayor isn't "racial profiling" - unless you're the person saying IT IS racial profiling, of course

The contradiction there seems to go above most peoples' heads

If he is like, and stays like, Adebayor, Balotelli, Nasri, Cassano or their ilk, then his career will be nothing more than that of yet another journeyman picking up big money for doing very little

It's not often I'd agree with EPL-biased Souness, but he may be right

We may be seeing why Juve sold him
on the 27th April, 2020 at 12:00am
The public and media-alike need to accept that just because a teenager pops up for a couple goals here and there, it doesnt necessarily mean he is going to be the next big thing despite how many newspapers it sells or clicks it gets online.
If Kean doesnt reach the heights people claim he will/should, its not because "he wasted his talent", its because he wasnt ever good enough.
on the 26th April, 2020 at 11:46pm
Let's swap him for Under. Roma will look after the boy and keep him out of trouble. Under doesn't have the right mentality for Roma. I see him doing well for Everton though.
on the 26th April, 2020 at 6:14pm
juve had a higuain problem he didn't want to leave he was refusing all transfer offers. he was banking on his relationship with Sarri, that meant no place for moise kean. I believe juve has 1st option to by him back if needed. but I blame aiolo. he only looks at the financial side. if he looked at how everton played it was no great build up play for stikers just aerial crosses to strikers. mose kean was setup to fail.juve tried to send him on loan to another serie a club.he should have done this
on the 26th April, 2020 at 4:45pm
Footballers seem to share the same lack of self awareness and grey matter as your average Hollywood celebrity. How stupid must you be to have parties at this moment in time and then to broadcast it on a livestream?? Even worse for me, was Grealish and hypocrisy; was he trying to outdo CNN's Chris Cuomo who was out and about with his family while he was supposedly suffering with the virus. We truly see the best and worst of one another during these surreal times.
on the 26th April, 2020 at 3:51pm
The people that immediately assume racism are the ones who are racist. It's impossible these days to say anything without being called ists and obes. Souness was being very logical with his line of reasoning; I was also thinking how on earth Juve could let the young man go, given his performances, nationality, age. They let him go so quickly, without a fight and for a relatively small fee. Maybe news of Moise's tardiness had got around?
on the 26th April, 2020 at 3:43pm

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