Everton tempted the French defender to continue his development at Goodison Park and he left Marseille to move to Merseyside last summer.


A lack of game time has led Nkounkou to make a loan move to Standard Liege this summer though and the defender has revealed he was in talks with the Belgian club before he joined Everton, but was too advanced in his switch to the Toffees to reconsider.



“I opted for Standard to have more playing time than at Everton and to make a place for myself here”, Nkounkou was quoted as saying by Belgian daily L’Avenir.


“A year ago contacts were also made with Standard, but those that started with Everton were too advanced for me to go back on.”



He struggled to catch Carlo Ancelotti’s eye at Everton last term, however is clear he that he learned from the Italian as he is from his successor Rafael Benitez.


“I learned a lot alongside Carlo Ancelotti and Rafael Benitez.



“With Ancelotti, I worked on my defensive positioning either with the help of video or exercises on the pitch”, Nkounkou added.


Standard Liege have so far picked up ten points from their opening six Belgian league games and are next in action against RFC Seraing.