Dwight McNeil and Abdoulaye Doucoure since Sean Dyche’s arrival have both been like new signings for Everton and have been imperative in Everton’s rise out of the relegation zone and as reported in The Athletic, they see the pair as the key.
Two wins out of the last three might not seem like a lot, but when you look at the bigger picture it is massive. In the bottom three, low on confidence and no win since October, when Sean Dyche came in and his first game was against lead leaders Arsenal, the neutral would point at another loss.
During his first training session, he wiped the slate clean for every player and Abdoulaye Doucoure grabbed his chance. Frozen out of the squad by Frank Lampard and rumoured with a move away in the January window, Doucoure probably thought his Everton career was over.
Since being added back into the first team, alongside Amadou Onana and Idrissa Gana Gueye, Everton now have a midfield three that have energy in attack and in defence and Doucoure has been key to that as he has allowed Onana and Gueye to flourish in their preferred positions.
With only six months left on his £120K a week contract, he is now playing for his future. Whether that is with Everton or for another club, only time will tell but in the last three games, he has started and finished them all.
He has had a very good turn in form since Dyche took over at the club but when you look at the wages he is on, is he worth another £6M a year in wages? I am not convinced.
He is a very good squad player but he is on such a high wage, I would rather the club save that money and use that elsewhere.
McNeil is what Everton need
When Everton sold fan favourite Richarlison in the summer, the only question Everton fans wanted to know was who was going to be his replacement.
Dwight McNeil suffered relegation with Burnley and came in as Everton’s new number seven. A very different player to Richarlison, McNeill was brought in to be an out-and-out winger. Someone who can bring width to the team and cross the ball in the box for Dominic Calvert-Lewin.
On the eve of the new season, Calvert-Lewin picked up a freak injury missing the start of the season meaning that McNeil’s strongest attributes were now going to be underutilised.
Having made his senior debut under Sean Dyche, the ‘wonderful’ McNeil knows exactly what it means to be a ‘Dyche’ player, and he has brought that in the last three games, starting them all and even getting an assist on Dyche’s first game.
Gaining more and more confidence, we can see McNeil becoming the player that we need. His delivery into the box is exceptional, and if we have a fully fit Calvert-Lewin on the end of them we should see an upturn in fortune.