Everton would have been relegated already without these three key players’ contributions

Sean Dyche has found a creative way to churn out points due to his struggling front-line.
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Statistics revealed on Monday Night Football earlier this week revealed that Sean Dyche has focused on his centre-backs to help Everton find goals since his appointment.

Currently, the Toffees are the third-lowest scorers in the Premier League and there’s been times this season where they’ve been at the bottom of that unwanted list.

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Goals have been at a premium this season for a number of reasons; one being the fitness issues suffered by Dominic Calvert-Lewin, whilst many have pointed towards the lack of a creative midfielder and just an overall lack of quality in the squad.

Relegation looked a certainty prior to Dyche’s arrival - and the final day could still bring despair.

However, the 99th minute equaliser from Yerry Mina last weekend prompted Jamie Carragher and Gary Neville on Monday Night Football on Sky Sports to review Dyche’s impact at Everton; more specifically, just how effective his defenders have been at earning precious points for the side in comparison to other sides.

In terms of centre-back goal involvements since Dyche’s arrival in January, Everton have the most combined goals and assists from central defenders with six - ahead of West Ham (5) Brentford (5) and Leicester (4).

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That means they also have the highest percentage of team goals coming from centre-backs with 33% - with West Ham in second boasting 21%.

However, the most telling factor is points earned from centre-backs; Everton’s six points earned is double that of West Ham and Brentford - and those six points have been the difference between relegation and survival with one game left to play.

Calvert-Lewin, Neal Maupay and Ellis Simms - Everton’s three striking options this season - have combined for just four goals between them and those lack of goals have seen Everton win just seven games this year.

Goals and assists from Mina, Michael Keane and James Tarkowski have been crucial but it clearly isn’t sustainable for a club to keep relying on set-pieces and defenders scoring goals in the long-term - it’s just a temporary measure and solution that Dyche has discovered.

With the fate of their Premier League status hanging on the final game of the season, it wouldn’t be surprising to see a defender make the difference on Sunday in front of the Goodison faithful.

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