Oumar Niasse insists he bears no grudge towards Ronald Koeman but says he does not deserve to be treated badly by the Everton boss.
The 26-year-old has endured a nightmare 10 months at Goodison Park following his £13.5million switch from Lokomotiv Moscow in January, injury ruining the early part of his Blues career.
The Senegal international was told by Koeman during the summer he does not feature in his plans and that he should look for a new club, the Dutchman making up his mind about the striker after just one 45-minute run out in pre-season.
Rather than follow Koeman’s advice and move on, Niasse decided to stay on Merseyside in the hope he could fight his way into the former Southampton boss’s plans.
Niasse’s decision did not sit well with Koeman, who has punished the striker by making him train with the Everton Under-23s.
Niasse claims he harbours no ill-will to the Toffees boss, despite his actions, although he says he would like an explanation as to why he has not been given more of a chance.
“It’s sad, it’s really sad,” Niasse told the Guardian. “And, to be honest, I think that I don’t deserve this. But what I can do is just keep my head and fight to change things. I’m not going to make a drama over this. I just deal with it. I know that it’s just one period.”
Despite being cast aside, Niasse is still not giving up hope he can achieve his dream of becoming a regular for Everton, indicating he has no plans to leave Merseyside anytime soon.
“I always think about my career – to make good choices,” he added. “Yes, I had opportunities but I wanted to play in the Premier League and it’s because I know I can do a lot of things in the Premier League. That’s why I am keeping my head, even if it’s hard now.
“Anything can change. Koeman just wants the best for him and, in two months, if I can be the best for him, he will take me, because he doesn’t have any problem with me and I don’t have any problem with him.”