By Goodison News speaking to Kevin Campbell

14th Mar, 2023 | 8:10am

We’re delighted to welcome former Everton striker Kevin Campbell as our exclusive columnist. Each week the former Toffees captain will be giving his views on the biggest talking points at Goodison Park…

Everton continuing to push for free agent Hoffenheim midfielder Dennis Geiger in the summer will depend on Sean Dyche not overruling Kevin Thelwell, believes Kevin Campbell.

The Toffees were “highly interested” in the 24-year-old when Frank Lampard was in charge in the lead up to the January window [Florian Plettenberg, 21 November], and Bild’s Christian Falk [Caught Offside, 10 February] has since suggested that he could become Dyche’s first signing in the summer.

But Campbell, a Sky Sports pundit, feels that if the new manager has other targets he prefers it is he who will come out on top in discussions with Thelwell, so if Dyche isn’t convinced the work that has already gone in to the pursuit will come to nothing.

Speaking exclusively to Goodison News Campbell said of the ongoing links to Geiger: “Kevin Thelwell and Sean Dyche are obviously going to have a conversation, because Kevin Thelwell was working with somebody different before Dyche came in.

“But names can change. Sean Dyche might somebody else in his head, another player. 

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“He might look at the Championship for all we know. There’s more than one way to skin this cat.

“I think Sean Dyche will have his own mind, his own opinions, and if they marry up fair enough, they go for the player. 

“If they don’t then I think he wins that one and they go for players he wants.”

Dyche has already reintegrated Abdoulaye Doucouré into his midfield three and shifted Alex Iwobi out wide, so if it is size that he values at the heart of his side Geiger may not be a priority for him.

With Tom Davies currently in line to leave at the end of his contract, as is Doucouré unless his run of starts sparks a contract extension, and Idrissa Gana Gueye unlikely to be around long-term, there is surely going to be an arrival or two in midfield, and as a free transfer the German might be attractive.

The continuity of Thelwell will no doubt keep the lines of communication open but the managerial change could have made a difference, both in terms of what Dyche wants, and the fact that midfielders in their 20s would have grown up watching Lampard excel in that position.

Dyche will need options so this could be a deal that still gets done, but signing a player the manager isn’t interested in is clearly a waste so he will need to be convinced of what Lampard saw in the Hoffenheim man to stick with it.