Everton’s start to the season was disappointing, but at last they seem to have settled into a rhythm more than capable of steering them to comfortable safety.
After all, having lost just two of their last eight in all competitions, it is becoming a shockingly familiar sight to see the Toffees grind out results against sides they are often not given a chance against.
Sean Dyche is unsurprisingly at the forefront of such a successful turnaround, having remained adamant that the good times would return, but there are a few stars on the pitch who are deserving of praise too.
Few more so than Abdoulaye Doucoure, who was recently handed a new contract to reward his form that one journalist claimed typified this new era of positivity and hard work.
He offers a keen work ethic alongside his goalscoring know-how, but at 30 years old fans are aware he will not be around forever.
Abdoulaye Doucoure Signs a New Contract at Everton
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An heir must soon be secured for a man who already has three Premier League goals this season, and fired home the all-important winner to avoid relegation on the final day last season.
Fortunately, Dyche may already have one brewing in his ranks, with Dele Alli’s battle to return to fitness potentially something that could prove revolutionary.
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Whilst fans might marvel at Doucoure’s goalscoring prowess over the last 18 months, his figures pail in comparison to the former Tottenham Hotspur man’s prime.
After all, having burst onto the scene with MK Dons and earned his move to north London, the 27-year-old would score 18 and assist a further nine across just his second Premier League campaign.
Having outlined his troubles in a touching interview with Gary Neville, revealing his troublesome past and earning praise from the media, many are expecting a resurgence once he shakes off his injury.
Everton FC v Arsenal FC – Premier League
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After all, one cannot simply lose all the talent he once possessed as a youngster, with journalist Kat Lucas having branded him a ‘very special player’ as recently as 2022.
Once a supremely gifted attacking midfielder, thriving off Harry Kane’s physical presence up front, perhaps he could step into Doucoure’s role, admittedly without the same work rate, and offer a key offensive threat.
History dictates he has the quality to do so, and should he even find a fraction of his old form, Alli alone could catapult Everton up the table.
Dyche’s desperation to work out a deal for him only supports his potential involvement, as a secret weapon just waiting to be unleashed.