Sean Dyche may find solution to £15m Everton problem Frank Lampard could not

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Dyche may have found a way to maximise his squad by utilising this forgotten man.

Sean Dyche got off to the best possible start as Everton manager at the weekend with a 1-0 victory over Arsenal, but one of his best victories on the day was showing he can get a tune out of a group of players that looked hapless just over a week ago.

Quite a few players will benefit from his appointment, including the likes of James Tarkowski, Dwight McNeil and Abdoulaye Doucoure for example, but the re-emergence of summer signing Neal Maupay stands out as a player that Dyche will favour.

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Having signed for £15m from Brighton in the summer, Maupay arrived as a contrasting attacking option to Dominic Calvert-Lewin, as the Frenchman likes to run in behind and use his movement and mobility, rather than Calvert-Lewin who has more of a target man style of play due to his build, link-up qualities and aerial presence.

One thing he also brings to the team is that added bite and desire to win. Often throughout his Premier League career he’s been accused of varying levels of sportsmanship, as he’s often done anything to get under the opposition’s skin. He was promptly involved in a scuffle with Oleksandr Zinchenko in added-time at the weekend which saw a brawl break out and the Ukrainian carded, as he run down the clock.

Little moments like that can help kill a game, turn a game, or even get a player sent off and Dyche will enjoy his antics, as long as the help the team and overstep any lines, such as when the Frenchman was close to giving a penalty away in the second half as VAR deemed his push on Gabriel to not warrant a penalty. However, it’s certainly clear he enjoys winding up Arsenal more than any other side.

Nevertheless, under Lampard, Maupay only managed a single goal in 15 appearances, and really struggled in what was a struggling team. Although, it’s not easy to adapt to a new side when you aren’t a regular starter plus the fact that Everton were in dismal form was also a major factor in the forward’s struggles.

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With Dyche operating with a front two for the majority of his time at Burnley, it stands to reason that Maupay would be re-introduced and given a far more prominent role than he’s currently had. Working as the second striker, his mobility and energy in and around Calvert-Lewin is key for a Dyche team. As he explained on The Coaches Voice, he likes one of his forward’s to drop in and cover passing lanes when defending, as his 4-4-2 formation evolves throughout a game.

His best scoring season was during the 2019/20 season as he netted 10 goals and provided three assists in 37 games for Brighton; his next two campaigns were identical with eight goals and two assists in both, so it’s clear he can score goals in this league. His partnership with Calvert-Lewin will be key, as Everton only possess the 22-year-old Ellis Simms as back-up. On top of that, he’s scored a variety of goals across his time in England, including an overhead kick away at West Ham or the delciate chip against Crystal Palace in the 95th minute to secure a draw - he can produce if given the chance.

Across those recent seasons in which he was Brighton’s key man, he often averaged between 1.9-2.6 shots per game, as well as around 1 key pass. Both are a farcry from his form this year, as he averages 1.1 shots and only 0.4 key passes per game and it’s clear there’s a more influential player that exists in the Frenchman and Dyche knows that rediscovering his form could go a long way to turning the tide.

Whilst he was often a lone striker on the South Coast, an opportunity to play with another forward will help him see more of the ball and will likely make it easier for him to get into better positions. Even if he can contribute five goals from now until the end of the season, that upturn may be enough to help Everton get over the line in key games, moving away from the looming threat of relegation.

If there’s anything we know about Dyche, he loves a two-man frontline, and with Maupay, Dyche could unlock a season-saving partnership.

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