April 13, 2024

Sean Dyche described Abdoulaye Doucoure as a “shining light” since he took over at Everton and a player who can deliver in the “moment of truth”.

The attacking midfielder is the Toffees’ top scorer this season with six goals, all of which have come in the Premier League.

But it is not just the fact he has been contributing to the cause with goals that has been hailed by Dyche, who said Doucoure sets the tone for his side.


“I tried to come here with a front foot mentality and get the team to play on the front foot with that energy and commitment to press and break the game higher up the pitch… He is very good at that. I think it is a natural thing for him to do as well. It is not just his energy, it is his awareness, his tactical understanding, the passing lanes he gets to, the lines when he presses to stop the opposition from passing. Jack Harrison is very good at it as well,” Dyche said in quotes reported by the Liverpool Echo (16 December).

“Some players adapt to it very naturally, some players have to learn it. I think Doucs has just enjoyed that. I think he is willing to do all of the work he does, and his commitment to the cause has been fantastic and, of his course, his goals. His quality to open up the game in different ways. He has been a shining light since I have been here and I have enjoyed everything he is doing and I think he is enjoying it as well.”

“I knew he could score, his record suggested he could score. I always liked his running into the box – he makes good runs and is around it and has got the energy, will and desire to get in the box and he does it very well. It comes down to players to score, to them taking the moment of truth, and he has been doing that.”


Deserved praise

Doucoure is the embodiment of what Dyche demands from his team. He is a willing runner, does his defensive duties, puts his body on the line, chips in with valuable goals, and would run through a brick wall.

But Dyche is spot on to be praising his canny tactical ability, his closing down of the right areas, the ability to press high and help Everton win the ball high up the pitch, he really has been a true all-round talent this term.

And he really has been a crucial source of goals this season, his six an excellent return really when considering he is not starting as an out and out striker and there really is a belief he can continue to contribute in that area.

It would be particularly helpful if he could contribute against Dyche’s former employers Burnley at Turf Moor on Saturday evening (16 December), a match that represents a great chance for a fourth consecutive Premier League win.

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