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Niels Nkounkou: Everton offered better playing chances than Marseille

Everton fullback Niels Nkounkou has again explained his decision to leave Olympique Marseille.

The young defender quit OM as a free agent this summer for Goodison Park.

Nkounkou was wanted by Marseille coach Andre Villas-Boas and the club's management team for the new season, but couldn't convince the powerful fullback to stay. Instead, as he came off contract with OM, Nkounkou courted interest from Everton and admits a direct call from Toffees manager Carlo Ancelotti helped sway his thinking.

He recalled to Telefoot via Le 10 Sport: "Leaving OM for Everton? First of all for a footballing and human choice. The OM project was interesting, but there was no certainty for my playing time. Everton made the playing time more beneficial for me. At 20, we all want to play, that's what I was looking for this year."

Indeed, Nkounkou has already tasted first team football for the Blues, featuring in the Carabao Cup defeat of Salford City. It marked his first team debut as Ancelotti handed the Frenchman a full 90.

The defender continued: "So I made the choice to sign for Everton. Today, I am very happy to be here. Did Ancelottti convince me? Not particularly, but yes there was a call from Carlo Ancelotti which was very satisfactory.

"It satisfied me, my family and my loved ones. It is also beneficial to have a call from the coach in charge for transfers."

Nkounkou signed for Everton in July, penning a three-year contract in the process. He had been with Marseille for three years, though never tasted first team football. Before joining OM, Nkounkou had come through the youth system of Stade Brest. He is a France U19 international.


- updated September 21

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Paul Vegas

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