Everton midfielder Dele Alli has struggled to recapture his best form since his Tottenham Hotspur days under Mauricio Pochettino but showed promise for the Toffees in their draw with Leicester City
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Everton midfielder Dele Alli has not had the best of times at Goodison Park since sealing a permanent exit from Tottenham Hotspur in the January window.
Dele is yet to start a game for the Toffees since Frank Lampard opted to sign the former England international, with the 26-year-old making just seven substitute appearances so far in the Premier League for Lampard’s side.
Having been left on the bench for the Toffees’ last four Premier League games prior to Wednesday night’s draw with Leicester City, Everton boss Lampard turned to Dele for the final 32 minutes against the Foxes on Wednesday.
Replacing Allan, Dele chased down a long pass to put a cross in from the right, which Salomon Rondon flicked on for Richarlison to turn in for Everton’s stoppage time equalizer in the 1-1 draw.
Lampard praised Dele’s attitude in training after the draw and hoped that there would be more signs of his quality in the final games of the season. “We needed a goal, and he’s trained well,” Lampard said on his January recruit. “To play at this level, with this competitive squad, you need to train at a maximum.
“It’s not easy to demand from players who are not playing as much, to come in and impact – but you have to train well to show your manager you deserve a chance. He’s done that, he’s clearly done that in training. Then you get your bit of luck, or you create something that happens for you. He deserved it – he ran into the corner, he gets the ball back into the box and we score from it.
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“I was really pleased with that part from him and hopefully that can be a big starting point for him. Dele Alli’s training attitude comes to the fore in Everton’s clutch draw against Leicester.”
Dele came to Everton three months ago after a tough spell at Tottenham that saw him struggle to recapture his best form or gain regular minutes under Jose Mourinho, Nuno Espirito Santo and Antonio Conte, before the latter sold him to Everton on a free transfer that could eventually climb to as high as £40m in add-ons.
Lampard knew Dele’s situation and lack of game time when signing him, but the Chelsea legend admits he has faith in him and is keen to get him back to his best on Merseyside. “I’ve got a big level of communication with him,” Lampard added.
“I explain a lot to him, which isn’t stuff I want to sit here and talk about. “But in terms of the demands of training, application and being ready for when that moment comes…I don’t think the story was ever going to be simple.
“We know the situation with how he came to us, how the last two or three seasons have looked – and the high level of player that he reached for a big period of time. Sometimes you have to work and fight through things, and we’re in that process with him.”
While Dele has not recorded a direct goal or assist for Everton since his arrival, he has a career record of 51 goals and 37 assists in his 188 Premier League appearances.