You can take somebody out of Everton but, on the evidence presented by Moise Kean yesterday, removing the essence of Everton from your core is a much harder task.
Even as the Toffees secured a battling draw at Nottingham Forest, leaving themselves well-positioned to escape from relegation, one of their current employees showed a commitment to slapstick comedy that would’ve made Charlie Chaplin blush.
Moise Kean scored twice in 32 Everton appearances, spending the last three years on loan at PSG and Juventus, and there’s been little clamour to see him back at Goodison Park despite an entire season of watching Neal Maupay toil up front.
Blessed with tenacity, and a fierce shot, Kean only turned 23 last month but it already feels inevitable that he won’t deliver on his immense potential.
But, whatever he achieves in his career, the striker’s red card against Roma on Sunday will stand the test of time as a cautionary insight into human stupidity.
Bought on as an 89th-minute substitute, with Juventus trailing 1-0, Kean immediately got stuck into the action with the zeal of a recently-released hostage tackling a boneless banquet.
After attempting to remove Gianluca Mancini’s shorts from his body, the youngster took exception to Mancini’s protestations and booted him up the arse.
Carhatic? Maybe. But, with the referee standing just metres away and the Roma goal-scorer milking the moment for all it was worth, it certainly wasn’t the most intelligent course of action.
The Stadio Olimpico jeered as Kean trudged from the field, with the striker possibly pondering whether there’d be any point in jumping into the showers.
He was on the pitch for barely 60 seconds; even a quick spray of Lynx would’ve been overdoing it.
MOISE KEAN VS GIANLUCA MANCINI pic.twitter.com/phtLUEmRvK
— I Gigi 78 I (@Vicidominus) March 5, 2023
“In the last few minutes, he could have helped us. He made a mistake, he apologised but he made a mistake because he put the team in difficulty,” Massimo Allegri, with the infinite patience of a counsellor, said to DAZN afterwards.
“He needs to learn from this, when you come on you can make a difference. Apart from anything else, it was a foul to us before and he just reacted wrongly.
“It’s not a question of frustration, Kean made a mistake, and that’s it.”
Kean’s rapid red card was not the fastest in Serie A history however, that dubious honour was reserved for Giulio Migliaccio who lasted just 32 seconds of Atalanta’s win over Palermo in 2015.
But Juventus’ defeat at the Stadio Olimpico left their Champions League hopes in tatters; fourth-placed Roma are now 12 points ahead and Italy’s most well-supported club faces a year in the wilderness unless their 15-point penalty for illicit transfer activity is overturned on appeal.
Their only realistic route of entering Europe’s top competition is by winning the Europa League, with the first leg of their last-16 tie with Freiburg coming up in Turin on Thursday.
And Kean will be powerless to help Juventus domestically for a number of matches. You can take the guy out of Everton…
By Michael Lee