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Dele Alli 36

Everton concluded a deadline-beating deal for Dele Alli, signing the 25-year-old from Tottenham Hotspur on a savvy permanent contract on the day that Frank Lampard was unveiled as the club's new manager at the end of January 2022.

According to media reports, the deal struck with Spurs chairman Daniel Levy committed Everton to paying £10M once the player made his 20th appearance (with Dele cup-tied and only 18 games left in the current Premier League campaign, that pushed the first payment into 2022-23), with further appearance-related clauses potentially taking the final figure to towards the £40M mark.

An exciting England U19 prospect, Dele was scouted by the likes of Bayern Munich and Liverpool and the subject of serious interest from Newcastle United before he was snapped up from MK Dons by Tottenham in 2015 for just £5m and he quickly set about not only repaying that modest outlay but became an integral part of a Spurs side that were challenging for the Premier League title within two years.

He then turned more heads on the international stage with a starring role for England at the 2018 World Cup as Gareth Southgate's men made it to the semi-finals in Russia. Within another year, Dele was a Champions League finalist having laid on two goals for Spurs' hero that night in Amsterdam, including the dramatic winner in stoppage time, and was being talked about in terms of a high-profile move to either Barcelona or Real Madrid.

It would prove to be the zenith of the Milton Keynes-born attacking midfielder's career to date, however, as the architect of the Londoners' ascendence, Mauricio Pochettino, left the club the following season and Jose Mourinho took charge.

Mourinho's aloofness and lack of communication is often cited as one of the big reasons for the alarming drop-off in Dele's form from that point on, although the player's own desire and commitment has been seriously questioned even if club insiders doubted the veracity of his "party animal" image.

Nevertheless, he fell out of Tottenham's squad altogether under the Portuguese, cutting an increasingly isolated figure at the North London club over the past 12 months.

An escape route to link back up with Pochettino at Paris Saint-Germain briefly appeared to open up during the 2021 January transfer window but he remained at Spurs and a fresh start under Mourinho's successor Nuno Espirito Santo never coalesced into anything tangible either.

Instead, he came into the winter window of 2021-22 having made just 10 Premier League starts, with a solitary goal scored back in August, and talk that Spurs head honcho Daniel Levy was prepared to listen to offers for him. It would take until transfer deadline day, however, and the appointment of Frank Lampard as manager at Everton for Dele to get his move away.

Lampard was reportedly instrumental in luring the then 25-year-old to Merseyside and the Blues' hierarchy were able to put together a laudable deal whereby he would join Everton for free, with £10M due following his 20th appearance and further appearance-related add-ons potentially taking the final price over £30M.

But Dele Alli would see minimal usage as a sporadic and largely ineffective sub, with :Lampard implying that he needed to see more desire and application from the faded Spurs star with three crucial games left for Everton to ensure their Premier League survival:

“I have had those discussions with him. He’ll be very clear as to where I am and at the moment I’m much more concerned about the collective, getting over the line as a group.

“If Dele plays his part in these three games then great. He’s come on at times and done good things for us. It’s an area of the squad where we have other players that have been playing, that’s just the reality of the situation.

“He needs to just keep training hard and stay really well focused and fight for the opportunity.”

That opportunity would come when he was introduced as a half-time sub for Doucouré after Everton had slumped to a 2-0 deficit at home to Crystal Palace – and Dele Alli was a major force in changing the game as Everton ran off dramatic 3-2 winners at the end to ensure their Premier League survival.

FactFile

Squad number 36
Position Attacking midfield
Nationality English
Born Milton Keynes
Date of birth 11 April 1996
Height 6'-2" (1.88 m)
Joined 31 January 2022
Joined from Tottenham Hotspur
Signed under Frank Lampard
Transfer fee £10M* rising to £32M
Contract duration 2½ years
Contract expires June 2024
Debut (Sub) v Newcastle Utd (A)
8 February 2022
Full debut v Arsenal (A)
22 May 2022
Previous Clubs Milton Keynes Dons
Tottenham Hotspur
» Soccerbase Datafile
» Wikipedia Entry
» TransferMarkt

*First instalment due after 20 appearances


Everton Career

Season Squad Number League Apps (sub) League Goals Cup Apps (sub) Cup Goals Total Apps (sub) Total Goals
2021-22 36  1 (10) 0 0 (0) 0 1 (10) 0
  Totals 1 (10) 0 0 (0) 0 1 (10) 0


Previous Career

Season Team League Apps League Goals Cup Apps Cup Goals
2020-22 Tottenham Hotspur 155 (26) 51 65 (23) 16
2020-22 MK Dons 64 (10) 22 10 (4) 2



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