Nkounkou spent the first half of the season at Cardiff City, but made the switch to Ligue 2 club Saint-Etienne in January.


The Everton defender has impressed for the French club, playing nine matches and assisting four times, while his goal helped Saint-Etienne draw against Amiens at the weekend.



Batlles is appreciative of the work-rate displayed by the Everton loan star and thinks that he has been the key player in making the Saint-Etienne team an attacking threat several times.


The Saint-Etienne coach is complimentary of Nkounkou going forward and also because of his crosses, but admits that the Everton loanee cannot be played higher up the pitch constantly.



“Niels Nkounkou is a player who gives a lot for his team”, Batlles said in a press conference.


“He allows us to be interesting in attack several times in the match.



“He is sometimes very high up the pitch, he crosses, but we can’t ask him to be on the other side just behind regularly, it’s not physically easy.”


Nkounkou’s form has helped the Ligue 2 club pull away from the relegation zone and the full-back will be hoping his performances in France help him next season at Everton.