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It was little over a year ago, against Manchester United at Old Trafford,thatMoise Kean suffered one of the ultimate humiliations as a professional. Having come on as a substitute, he was substituted off 19 minutes later.
The young Italian might have expected to return to the fore once compatriot Carlo Ancelotti was put in charge, but the damage was done. Sure, he would play another eight Premier League matches that season, but his game time was severely limited for someone who arrived the previous summer from Juventus with so much promise.
And so last October he was shunted to Paris Saint-Germain on loan, not quite a forgotten man but certainly a rather discredited one.
From the French club’s perspective, it seemed to be a move borne of desperation. They had failed to sign an adequate replacement for Edinson Cavani previously in the window and were left with Mauro Icardi as their sole option at centre-forward.
The Argentine, meanwhile, had just suffered a knee injury that would keep him out for six weeks.
Sporting director Leonardo, though, keeps a close watch on the Italian game and has specialised in picking up Serie A players, or former Serie A players, for PSG. More often than not, it has proven a successful tactic, and with Kean there has been no doubt that has been the case.
Perhaps it was the change of scenery that inspired the forward, who was doubtless weighed down by his £25 million ($34m) price tag at Goodison Park, but he rapidly grasped his chance in the French capital.
His confidence was quickly boosted by a couple of goals in a 4-0 rout over Dijon at home. Since that time, he has found the net more than any other PSG player, scoring 13 times in 22 total appearances. KylianMbappe and Neymar only have 16 combined.
Ahead of PSG’s Trophee des Champions clash with Marseille on Wednesday, Kean has found the net in each of his last three appearances, despite totalling only 161 minutes in these games.
His goals are rarely spectacular – most have been downright scruffy – but for a team like PSG, who are regularly tasked with breaking down packed defences, even simple finishes can be invaluable. Indeed, five of his strikes have proved to be game-winning and only a couple have come when the Parisians have been cruising ahead by two goals or more.
"He is having a really good experience at Paris Saint-Germain," said Ancelotti, a former PSG boss. "He is scoring a lot of goals and showing his quality.
"He's our player, and he will be back in June. All the time you have to take into consideration what the player thinks, because the players are human, and we have to treat them as human beings.
"If the player wants to come back then we will be happy to have him. If he wants to stay at PSG, we will have to talk with them.”
“I am very happy to be able to play for PSG,” he said in December. “I work hard to give 100 per cent for the supporters and for my team-mates.
“I play with great players, like Neymar and Mbappe, and I learn a lot alongside them. It's a good thing to play for one of the biggest clubs in the world.
“I focus on what I have to do, to play good matches to make the team win. For my future, we'll see later.”
With discussions between the clubs reportedly amplifying, that could become apparent sooner rather than later.
Everton are reportedly asking for £35m ($48m), a fee that would see them make around £10m ($14m) on a player who was considered a major flop only three months ago.