Sean Dyche says Dele Alli “feels great” at Everton, and the former Tottenham star might return to action during the upcoming busy festive period.
For more than nine months, the 27-year-old midfielder has not participated in any competitive matches. His last appearance was on February 26 during an unsuccessful loan spell at Besiktas. Since joining Everton from Spurs in January 2022, he has only started one game. Recently, a thigh issue has sidelined him, leading to the necessity of undergoing surgery.
Dele Alli has not participated in any matches for nine months
Dele Alli is actively working to regain consideration at Goodison Park, as confirmed by Toffees boss Sean Dyche when queried for an update, he said: “He is going well. He is back on the grass with the sports science and fitness coaches, going through football related drills, but the actual freedom to come and join in with us is not there yet.
Dyche added: “Hopefully over the next week he will start slowly blending in [with the first team squad]. He still has a bit to go because he has been out for a long time, he needs a game programme, but to get him back on with us would be really pleasing for him because he has been so unlucky. The last time, 12-13 weeks ago, when he was going to join us he was so unlucky with the damage. But the good news is that everything is settling down and he is feeling good. I saw him earlier and he said, ‘yes, I’m feeling great’.”
Dele’s contract with Everton, scheduled to conclude at the end of the 2023-24 campaign, implies the possibility of him becoming a free agent next summer. By that time, the Toffees may avoid incurring any costs for his services, as the initial installment of the intricate £30 million ($38 million) deal negotiated with Spurs will be paid only after he completes an additional seven appearances.
He may seize the opportunity to approach that milestone during the remaining part of the season, as Everton has seven more games scheduled before the end of the calendar year. This includes a Premier League home fixture against Newcastle on Thursday and a Carabao Cup quarter-final encounter with Fulham on December 19.