Sean Dyche gives hope for Dele Alli return after recent comments

Everton manager Sean Dyche. Picture: Ryan Pierse/Getty Images

Sean Dyche has revealed that Dele Alli has offered advice and guidance to the Everton squad in a recent interview, and it adds further hope of a return to action for the midfielder.

Everton drew 1-1 with Brighton over the weekend and it was a difficult game for both sides but 20% possession for Dyche’s side outlined their inability to retain the ball.

In the past, Dyche’s sides (Watford and Burnley) were lauded for their ‘direct approach’ and use of physicality – but anyone who believes that his side are merely a long-ball side are living a lie.

Dyche has proven he can win with different styles and the recent run of Everton wins are testament to that. And with the latest news last week telling us that the club are looking to renegotiate their deal with Tottenham, he may just about be about to show us something new.

Alli, 27, has failed to muster any type of form since signing for Everton – playing just 13 times – but there may be a future for him at the club as of yet.

Speaking to beINSports over the weekend, Dyche told former Everton striker Andy Gray that Alli has been helping to convey his tactics to the rest of the squad.

“I had a chat with Dele Alli, who is a great fella who has been through a lot, and I had a chat with him and I said ‘Dele, what’s your thoughts?’ and he said ‘I think you need to define with these players when you talk about direct play I think that you mean kick it forwards, but I know you don’t.

“Because he had worked under Mauricio Pochettino who was similar – he used to talk about direct, passing football. ‘Get, turn and play forwards’.

“I wanted them to understand that Dele is in a really good place and is watching what we do and he’s exactly right. We want direct play in the sense of play forwards first, the quicker you play forward the more you can dominate the top end of the pitch.”

The original clause for Alli was that Everton would pay £10m to Spurs when he reaches 20 games for the club and he is currently on 13 appearances. He hasn’t featured in a competitive appearance since February 26 (Besiktas) and hasn’t worn Blue since August 2022.

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Alli still needs time to continue his recovery to full fitness but the positive factor is that he has returned to training on the grass and it seems likely that Dyche wants to, and will use the former England international in the hope of adding a different dynamic to the side.

With a lack of midfield options after Abdoulaye Doucoure, James Garner, Idrissa Gueye and Amadou Onana – Dyche is missing a player who can be more comfortable in and around the box, as Alli has shown over his career.

A return for Alli would give Dyche a boost at the top end of the pitch in a position which is currently lacking, despite Doucoure’s strong form since February.


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