Sean Dyche directly contrasts Lampard plan as Everton boss spots chance of deal for revived star

Sean Dyche, Everton, February 2023

Everton head coach Sean Dyche is open to extending the contract of a player who had fallen far out of contention under predecessor Frank Lampard.

Dyche replaced Lampard in the Everton job in January, marking his return to management after his 2022 exit from Burnley. His first game in charge was an impressive 1-0 win over league leaders, Arsenal.

There has since been another win, over relegation rivals Leeds United, sandwiched between losses to Liverpool and Aston Villa.

But two wins from four hasn’t been a bad start at all for Dyche, especially when Lampard failed to win any of his last 10 matches in charge across all competitions.

Bringing new ideas to the table, Dyche may have a better chance of guiding Everton out of the relegation zone than Lampard would have.

And one way in which Dyche is contrasting Lampard is with his treatment of one player.

At the time of Lampard’s sacking, reports revealed he had clashed with Everton midfielder, Abdoulaye Doucoure. He didn’t play any part in either of Lampard’s last two games in charge and was subsequently linked with Fulham.

But a January exit never materialised and Dyche instead immediately restored him to the starting lineup. Indeed, the former Watford man has completed 90 minutes in all four matches under Dyche so far.

Therefore, the Daily Mail is now relaying that Dyche is open to Everton activating their option to extend Doucoure’s contract.

The 30-year-old is due to become a free agent at the end of the season. However, Everton can automatically keep him for another campaign should they wish to.

And it appears Dyche would be willing to give Doucoure that extended chance at Goodison Park if he can demonstrate his consistency before the end of the campaign.

Indeed, the manager has explained what Doucoure needs to do to earn his extension.

Dyche wants Doucoure to maintain Everton form

“I’ve only been here four games. You have to do a bit more than (do well in) four games when I am your manager,” Dyche has said. “But he’s certainly someone that could help the club going forwards. I think he has done very well.

“Different managers see different things. Different managers want different things. This is no question of any other manager at all. But he is someone I have always liked as a player.

“But you don’t know until you get here. I got here and (perhaps) he saw it as a fresh chance.

“Then, it’s up to the players. They all respond to new manager changes in different ways. He has just responded very well so far – but I want him to continue in that vein.

“I agree, he has played very well. He keeps working in both boxes, driving with his running, that’s for sure. The signs are good.”

Dyche immediately noticed Doucoure was in shape when he arrived, even if not in form. Therefore, he has been ready for his chance – and appears to be taking it.

“He made it very clear – not verbally – in the way he went about his business on the first day we got in,” Dyche added. “He was saying: ‘I’m ready’.

“Whether he was in the last manager’s plans or not, physically he was ready.

“And fair play to him, as it’s not easy. To use your word, we want that revitalisation from the whole group. There have been good signs of that, actually. The group is looking very active and wants to do well.”

The Mali international has made 84 appearances across his Everton career so far, scoring five goals along the way.

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