Dele Alli, the forgotten star, will at last return to action for Everton during the Christmas fixtures.
After having surgery to fix a thigh injury in the summer, the former Tottenham and England player aggravated the injury in August and has not played this season. The injury came after his unsuccessful stint with Turkish club Besiktas on loan during the previous season, and his admission in the summer that he had mental health problems.
Dele, who joined Everton from Tottenham in January 2022 and has only ever started one game, will likely soon begin full training alongside the rest of the first team roster, according to Sean Dyche.
He’s doing great,” the Everton manager remarked. “He is back on the field working through football-related drills with the fitness and sports science coaches, but he does not yet have the freedom to come out and participate with us.
I hope he gradually becomes more and more integrated into the first team squad over the course of the next week. He still has a ways to go because he hasn’t played with us in a while and needs a game program, but it would make him very happy to be back because he hasn’t been lucky.
When he was supposed to join us the last time, about 12 or 13 weeks ago, he was very unfortunate with the damage that was done. The good news is that he is feeling well and that things are starting to calm down. “Yes, I’m feeling great,” he said when I saw him earlier.”
Dyche has previously hinted that negotiations between Everton and Dele’s former team, Tottenham, would intensify as his return draws closer. In January 2022, the Goodison club and Spurs worked out a complicated contract in which the former England player would not require a down payment and could receive up to £30 million based on appearances.
The first of those payments – an outlay of £10m – will be due in seven appearances’ time, a figure Everton are highly unlikely to pay due to their precarious financial position. Last month Dyche revealed Everton’s Director of Football had held tentative talks with Spurs in hope of renegotiating their current arrangement.
Meanwhile, Dyche says Everton just need to turn chances into goals to improve their poor home record when they face Newcastle tonight. The Toffees have won only one of their seven League games at Goodison Park in stark contrast to four wins on the road.
“It’s about scoring goals, simple as that,” said Dyche. “Arguably, we’ve played better at home than away this season but we’re just not sticking it in the net.”
Everton’s hopes will be boosted by the return of key striker Dominic Calvert -Lewin who missed Saturday’s win at Nottingham Forest.