Sean Dyche could unleash secret Everton weapon after international break injury to key man

The Scottish international could be set to return to action for Everton.

Sean Dyche may be able to call upon his secret weapon in the battle against relegation after Seamus Coleman suffered an injury whilst on international duty.

Coleman, 34, is currently away with the Republic of Ireland national team, but wasn’t involved in the 3-2 win over Lativa in their friendly two days ago.

According to the Athletic’s Everton correspondent Patrick Boyland, Coleman has a “slight thigh strain” according to Ireland manager Stephen Kenny and is currently being assessed by their medical team.

Ireland manager Kenny has spoken on his absence: “I was at the game last week at Brentford when they won 1-0 and he played really well. It would be ideal to have him, but regardless we have the capacity to put in strong performances. We will just have to adapt.”

The Everton veteran has been a stalwart at right-back over the years and has started 17 games in the league this year, but his injury may open the door for the young Scottish defender Nathan Patterson to return.

Patterson hasn’t featured under Dyche yet, as he’s been recovering from an ankle injury and a lack of match fitness with his last appearance coming in the 4-1 home loss to Brighton in early January.

However, he’s stepped up his recovery in the last month, featuring regularly for Everton’s youth sides and he is currently away with the Scottish national team for the Euro 2024 qualifiers against Cyprus and Spain.

Having started 11 games in the league under Lampard, as well as totalling over 1000 minutes of competitive action this season under the former manager, it’s likely that Dyche will utilise Patterson after the international break, as Coleman had completed 90 minutes in six of Dyche’s first eight games.

Patterson’s return can allow Dyche to rotate the pair and keep Coleman fresher in what is the twilight of his career. Whilst Patterson’s youthful energy can help offer Everton a new dynamic.