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Everton Transfer: Sean Dyche Faces Six Everton Transfer Dilemmas after decision made on First-Team Duo
- Updated: May 31, 2023
Now that survival has been confirmed, Everton can step up preparations for next season.
Background work will already have been done – last year the club had two plans drawn up going into the final weeks of the campaign and there is nothing to suggest the approach to this season is any different.
The late start will hamper those in charge of recruitment – clubs that knew their fate weeks ago will have had a headstart on discussions with targets. But Sean Dyche was clear in his post-Bournemouth comments that his squad needs serious work.
While Dyche is aware of the size of the task that faces him, at the start of this week he was still unaware of his budget. The Blues boss conceded he may have to sell players to rebuild a paper-thin and disjointed squad. One of Dyche’s several mantras is of focusing on what he can influence – ‘controlling the controllable’, he often says. With that in mind the first issue he can deal with is those whose contracts are expiring. Dyche will have been assessing those coming towards the end of their deals over recent months and, with budgets likely too constrained, may act clinically.
The future of three such players has already been confirmed. Abdoulaye Doucoure was training away from the first team after a bust up with Frank Lampard when Dyche arrived at Everton. Dyche brought him straight into his starting XI and the Mali international became his new boss’ most valuable player. Everton under Dyche were at their worst during the midfielder’s three game suspension,
while his five goals and two assists were one of the core reasons Everton survived. In the 15 games he played for Dyche, Doucoure created a highlight reel that will be endure he is fondly remembered when he leaves. That is unlikely to be this summer after Everton triggered the option to extend his contract in the final week of the season. Doucoure loves Everton and told the Echo last summer of his desperation to extend his stay. In January there was a chance he would not even spend the remainder of the season on Merseyside. Now he is committed to a further 12 months and his name has entered club folklore after he scored the goal that guaranteed survival.
The future of Yerry Mina has also been decided. He posted to Instagram on the eve of the Bournemouth game to confirm it would be his last for the club. Injury has ruined his time on Merseyside but he has remained a popular character and stepped up to lead the club to safety when he was eventually given a chance by Dyche. Mina took a moment to contemplate his arrival at Goodison for one final time on Sunday, crossing the pitch alone after arriving two hours before kick-off and breathing in the history.
Isaac Price was one of several Under-21s players to gather enough momentum to take him to the first team in 2022. Lampard handed him senior and league debuts before the summer then, as the U21s impressed in the first half of the season, gave him an opportunity which he seized when the club travelled to Australia during the World Cup break. Lampard declared Price the player of the trip and the central midfielder was introduced in the second half of the January defeat to Brighton. But poor first team form followed by the arrival of Dyche limited opportunities and 19-year-old turned down efforts from Everton to keep him and is set to join Belgian side Standard Liege in search of first team football.
Conor Coady represents the most intriguing decision for Dyche and director of football Kevin Thelwell. Under Lampard it was an open secret the option to buy the centre back would be triggered. At a cost of around £4.5m to Everton it was a case of when the clause would be exercised, not if. The situation is more complicated under Dyche, who quickly dropped Coady for Michael Keane
Coady’s future may depend on what happens with other centre-backs at the club. It is one of few areas where there is genuine depth even with Mina’s departure and over what will probably be a frugal summer the fee could be useful elsewhere.