As the appointment of Sean Dyche as the new Everton manager grows is confirmed, three current members of the squad could well be relishing the opportunity to link back up with their former boss.
Michael Keane, James Tarkowski and Dwight McNeil all played under Dyche at Burnley and were part of his successful, resilient teams that continued to impress until their relegation last season.
Dyche gave each player a chance to shine in the Premier League. Tarkowski was signed from Championship side Brentford, Keane arrived from Manchester United, initially on loan, having previously made just one appearance in the top flight, while McNeil was a product of the Clarets' academy who was given his senior debut by Dyche in May 2018.
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McNeil and Tarkowski signed for Everton in the summer after Burnley were relegated. Keane, meanwhile, arrived on Merseyside in a £25m deal in the summer of 2017. However, his star has faded since then and has spent this season behind Tarkwoski and Conor Coady, another summer signing, in the defensive pecking order, and so Keane will be hoping to reclaim a place in the Blues side under his former manager.
The 30-year-old has spoken of the gratitude he owes Dyche for the role he has played in a career which has seen the centre-back win 12 England caps. “I'm thankful to Sean Dyche at Burnley for the work he's done with me and the faith he's put in me - that's what has got me to where I am today," said Keane.
Tarkowski also won England honours while playing under Dyche at Burnley. And, after the 51-year-old's sacking by the Clarets in April, the centre-back was quick to pay tribute. “I have to give a special mention to the 'gaffer', all the lads will say that he's been incredible for us and the football club," said Tarkowski. "It's been strange but we're just trying to galvanise the group. He's been there so long, while at other clubs they've been chopping and changing their managers.”
A Dyche team is simple to understand; he requires you work hard, play for one another and play with desire. He is not afraid to give players chances, as proven by McNeil. Now Everton will be hoping he is the man to club to safety.
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