Abdoulaye Doucoure played a vital role in Everton’s win over Brighton with two goals but looks increasingly likely to depart the club in the summer.
Brighton 1-5: Sean Dyche’s post-match reaction.
Abdoulaye Doucoure said Everton ‘know his position’ as he acknowledged there was uncertainty over his future at the club.
The midfielder, who opened up on his love for the Blues and desire to commit to a new deal last summer, is out of contract at the end of this season.
Everton have the option to extend the agreement by a further 12 months but are yet to trigger that clause and Doucoure said finding a compromise currently appeared difficult – though he said his main focus was on the club’s survival battle. Sean Dyche recently stressed contract negotiations were not the priority amid the club’s fight against relegation from the Premier League.
Doucoure made clear his long-term ambition in the summer, telling the ECHO on the club’s pre-season tour of the USA: “I spoke to the club. They know my position. I want to stay here for much longer… I enjoy being here a lot. I want to commit to the club for the future. For three or four years more. I enjoy the atmosphere and have more to give to the club.”
The 30-year-old looked destined to leave Everton after being frozen out under previous manager Frank Lampard. But the appointment of Dyche has revived his career on Merseyside. Doucoure was brought straight into the starting eleven by Dyche and has been ever-present when available. Such is his new-found importance it was his three game suspension for a red card against Tottenham Hotspur that threw the form improvement initially sparked by Dyche off course.
At Brighton it was the Mali international’s early strike that set Everton up for a win that vastly improved the club’s chances of staying in the Premier League. Doucoure has also scored important goals at Nottingham Forest and Chelsea since Dyche placed his faith in him.
Asked whether he thought a deal could be done to secure his future, Doucoure said he was unsure and added: “Obviously I feel well at the club, I think I have done my job, so now it is up to the club to see what they want from me.”