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Dele Alli, Andre Gomes and Jean-Philippe Gbamin Set to Test Sean Dyche’s Midfield at Everton



Dele Alli’s Imminent Return Presents A Conundrum

Here are your evening Everton evening headlines on Friday, March 17.

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“I just want to be happy playing football. Working with Lampard, and the great players Everton have got, is a great opportunity for me to do that. I’m excited to go there, show the fans what I can do, and help the club as much as I can.”

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Those were the words of Dele Alli when Everton officially announced his arrival in the early hours of February 1 of last year. It was a bold move by a club in transition. Frank Lampard had only just become Blues boss, there was no sporting director in place and a flurry of late January activity was intended to halt the slide towards a relegation fight.

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Just like with Lampard, Dele’s time in the spotlight on Merseyside featured promising flashes but ended within a year. Unlike with the former boss who tried so hard to protect and support the deadline day signing in public, Dele is due back at Finch Farm and Everton, and Lampard’s replacement Sean Dyche will have a potentially expensive puzzle to solve this summer.

There was no initial transfer fee for Dele’s switch to Everton from Tottenham Hotspur but the deal could reach up to £40m if a host of clauses are met. Many of them seem unlikely but, having played 13 times for Everton, a further seven appearances would trigger a £10m payment to his former club. For a club attempting to drive a smarter recruitment strategy, financially constrained by its proximity to spending limits and desperate to continue to shed high-earners from its wage bill, Dele’s looming return from a loan spell at Turkish side Besiktas in the summer presents a conundrum that will need solving.

Joe Thomas has more, here.

Andre Gomes and Jean-Philippe Gbamin Also Present a Challenge

Dele Alli is not the only midfielder set to pose Sean Dyche with a dilemma this summer.

Andre Gomes and Jean-Philippe Gbamin could both return to Everton following the conclusion of their respective loan spells. Both have had their careers with the Blues ruined by injury and, like Dele, are contracted until the end of next season.

They were each deemed surplus to requirements in the summer and eventually secured opportunities to play elsewhere. There could be a chance for them to impress their new manager, who said every player started with a clean slate upon his arrival. Yet their presence will be a difficult reminder of the past excess that has undermined Everton’s efforts to make progress.

Gomes, who signed for Everton from Barcelona, is enjoying a positive season with French side Lille. The 29-year-old has played 19 times, scoring once, and started recent games with Lyon, Paris Saint-Germain, Lens and Brest. One French publication described him as “the perfect relay between the defenders and the Lille attack” and suggested he could be the subject of efforts to make his move permanent should Lille qualify for Europe. The side is currently sixth, one place and one point below Rennes, the team that occupies the final European qualification spot.

For the full story, click here.



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