22/09/2023 41comments  |  Jump to last

Sean Dyche has revealed that Kevin Thelwell will seek talks with Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy over the terms of Everton's deal for Dele Alli as the midfielder continues working towards making his Premier League comeback.

According to the deal struck between the two clubs in January last year, Everton will owe Spurs an initial £10m payment for Dele once he makes his 20th appearance, which would prove problematic for the cash-strapped Blues.

To date, Dele has played 13 times for the club since arriving from North London and if he recovers sufficiently from surgery on a hip problem, it's conceivable he could play enough games this season to trigger the first payment on a deal reportedly worth up to £40m before his contract runs out next summer.

The former England star admitted publicly to his long-standing problems with mental health and addiction in an interview with Gary Neville earlier this year, revelations that put his struggles on the pitch over the past three or four years in context.

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Everton and Thelwell are hoping that Levy and Spurs will take a sympathetic view of the player's situation and agree reformulated terms on the originally-agreed deal that would allow him to make a proper comeback without worries over how many games he can play would be best for Dele. 

"He is not ready yet," Dyche told the press about Dele who has suffered setbacks in his recovery recently. "When he is fit and well I am sure Kev will go to Tottenham and say, 'Right, how can we make this work for everyone,’" said Dyche. "It has never been at that stage so we have to wait for it.

"He was training with us, warming up and doing the drills, and he strikes the ball and is knocked back to square one. It was a real blow to him.

"He’d had an operation on his groin. They internally stitched it like an anchor inside his body, and one of them popped out having a shot and that was it.

"It was incredibly frustrating because he was feeling great. He is still a bit away yet; nowhere near training with us but is beginning to work with the sports science people."


Reader Comments (41)

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Gerry Morrison
1 Posted 22/09/2023 at 23:42:03
Be like a new signing when he comes back.
Dupont Koo
2 Posted 22/09/2023 at 23:48:36
We have nothing to lose by asking. If you don't ask, you don't get.
Jerome Shields
3 Posted 23/09/2023 at 00:15:16
At last.
Mark Taylor
4 Posted 23/09/2023 at 00:42:02
He looked physically very well in the Neville interview but reading those last 3 paras makes me wonder if he'll ever play again. Certainly not for us with a £40M price tag. Not a risk we can afford to take. Over to you, Mr Levy.
Andy McNabb
5 Posted 23/09/2023 at 01:52:09
It’s like negotiating with a hungry shark in the middle of the ocean.

Kev had better get practising his smile.

Jim Bennings
6 Posted 23/09/2023 at 07:09:10
Right now, I don't think we'll see Dele Alli play for Everton again, certainly not this season, so it would be interesting to know what our plans are for him.
Ben King
7 Posted 23/09/2023 at 08:24:53
Why does Dele Alli's situation concern Levy?

Yes, he's had mental health issues obviously but it doesn't change Everton's ability to pay what they owe.

They're two separate issues being somehow conflated into one: it doesn't really make sense and I don't see Levy going for it.

But no harm trying, I guess.

Tony Everan
8 Posted 23/09/2023 at 08:46:35
Dele is on 100k pw until June 2024 when his contract expires. No way are Everton going to pay his massive wage and trigger a 10m transfer fee after a few more starts. He will only get played if that fee is waived or massively reduced.

This is especially so considering Dele’s mental and physical issues that mean he could break down a few matches the other side of paying the £10m fee. It’s a complete non starter.

What a player he is when he was mentally and physically on form. One of the best in the league and we are crying out for a no10 with his class and attributes.

Levy will concede and accept a few million otherwise he will get nothing. It will also be heralded as a gift to Dele to assist his rehabilitation.

A talent such as his should be revered. So for the good of football, let alone Everton, I hope a common sense deal can be struck and we all, Everton and all supporters, get a chance to see the real Dele Alli in all his glory.

Danny O’Neill
9 Posted 23/09/2023 at 09:01:14
I have no inside information or what is going on with Dele, so can only give an opinion based on what I read.

Putting aside the financial aspects, I just find it a shame that such a talented footballer has seemingly fallen out of love with football and now has injury problems. Notwithstanding his personal issues from his background, which he was brave enough to publicly reveal, is he another victim of being played too much too young and living in the media bubble? A lot of factors going on there.

However if we are allegedly renegotiating, good luck with that. Levy is ruthless and tends to always get his way. Just don't let Blue Bill near it or we'll end up paying even more with a few theatre tickets thrown in.

Danny Baily
10 Posted 23/09/2023 at 09:21:33
If we could have the fee waived or massively reduced that would be brilliant. We need quality in the middle, and I'd be more than happy to see us gamble on Dele. We'll be paying those wages regardless (unless the club and player can come to an agreement over terminating the contract).
Jim Lloyd
11 Posted 23/09/2023 at 09:41:59
Well said Tony (10) Dele was a fantastic footballer. Where he's been mentally, he's faced it and in public. It's lousy that he got this injury which could be the end of his career, however, it might be that it's resurgence of his career if he can get physically fit.

I think it's a good move by Dyche and Thelwell. As we'll be paying him his wages, then if there's a chance he can make it back to anything like in his prime, then I hope we take it.

Jim Bennings
12 Posted 23/09/2023 at 09:46:23
Jim 11

I think there's much more wrong with Dele Alli unfortunately than just a simple case of his issues being out in public and him facing it.

He seems apathetic now almost, you can see his demeanor, he's been off the football scene for too long I think to ever rediscover what he had at Spurs.

I hope he sorts himself and his head out for the rest of his life though, a life after football regardless.

Raymond Fox
13 Posted 23/09/2023 at 10:04:34
Worth a try no doubt, he needs an older head to tell him what its like to be older and a retired footballer but I would guess thats already been tried.

Maybe he doesnt enjoy the stress of being a player any more, if thats not the case he would be a fool to end his career.
He's not become a bad player, he could be a real asset if he wants.

Ajay Gopal
14 Posted 23/09/2023 at 10:04:44
From Dyche's interview, it appears that Dele was ready to make the step into training with the team, when unfortunately, he has had this physical setback. Does not sound like a serious injury, but it may a couple of months before he can be back training. My guess is that Dyche has seen good signs in Dele, and believes that he can be reintegrated with the team - otherwise he wouldn't have brought up the possibility of renegotiating Dele's terms. I am hopeful that Dele becomes an important player for us in the 2nd half of the season, provided - as Tony has sensibly put it in his post (8) - the terms of his contract can be rewritten for a win-win-win for all parties. Good luck to Dele with his rehabilitation.
Andrew Flanagan
15 Posted 23/09/2023 at 10:09:35
Levy isn’t stupid. We will probably come out of that meeting with a worse deal
Jimmy Carr
16 Posted 23/09/2023 at 10:19:19
If Kevin Thewell can renegotiate a better deal with Daniel Levy he needs to be made Prime Minister and given the keys to 10 Downing Street.

Once there he can negotiate Britain's re-entry into the EU on improved terms, deal with the net zero targets and sort out the economy while he's at it.

Colin Glassar
17 Posted 23/09/2023 at 10:21:01
Jim 12, bang on. We should send him back to Spurs where Ange can try and resurrect his career. Brilliant player but I think he’s finished.

Andrew, we will probably leave that meeting paying more for Ali and taking Ledley King and Alan Gilzean along with him.

Larry O'Hara
18 Posted 23/09/2023 at 10:37:40
Jimmy (16)—glad to see the comedian has turned up. Re-entering the EU and sorting the economy are rather contradictory..

On Dele, sadly we will get nothing from that shark Levy

John Pickles
19 Posted 23/09/2023 at 10:58:11
Actually, this might be a good situation for the club. Dele's contract runs out at the end of the season, if Everton see enough from Dele, they could promise him football next season if he promises to sign as a free agent (on a performance related deal). Spurs, then, would get nothing.

If Dele told Levy that that was his intention, it would strengthen Thelwell's hand. If Dele isn't interested, then he clearly isn't hungry enough to resurrect his career.

Jim Lloyd
20 Posted 23/09/2023 at 11:00:16
Jim 12. I'm not so sure as you, that he's finished. You and Colin both think he's finished, some others think the same, I would guess.

I look at it this way. The lad has had a fairly chaotic, rough, home homelife as he grew up. sent out to flog drugs when he was a kid, allegedly, and I think football was the only positive thing in his life. He's courted by massive clubs offering a King's ransom to him, if he would only play for them (think Liverpool, amongst others, were after him) He's playing in the first team, playing for England when he was still a teenager. A thrilling footballer. I was hoping we would go him (Hahaha fat effin chance!)

Then his personal life turns to rat shit for various reasons. Who among us know the the working of his mind? I saw him playing for us and remember him turning one match on it's head for us, when he came on as a sub. I saw other matches when he seemed to let it all pass by him. More like an onlooker, quizzing what he was doing there.

There was obviously something going wrong for him, and that's whty we ended up with him, as Spurs were finished with him. They'd just go and buy someone else. That's how we got him.

All that he's gone through, doesn't go away and maybe that is why he "enjoyed the good life" with the drugs. Who knows.

One thing I'm fairly certain of, his that he was an extremely brave lad to come out, on a televised interview, and tell Gary Neville, and all the football supporters throughout the country, what he went through.

He could have just carried on with his drugs and lifestyl, while he was with us; but he didn't he went into rehab and begun the journey back to a life wherre football might well become a major good part in his life. We gave him that chance "Everton FC"

He went through a rehabilitation course and was strong enough to tell us all about his life.

My view is that our management team think that he's worth building his life back up with him. That includes enjoying football again. I think so to. I'd love to see him enjoy his football again with us.

I think he's worth the gamble. More importantly, so do Everton FC.

James Marshall
21 Posted 23/09/2023 at 11:15:31
Why do people say Dele is finished? It always amazes me how people with no actual physical insight into another human being have this ability to see these things.

I work in physical health, and half the time you can't 'see' anything wrong with a person - likewise you can't see anything change in them from the outside once they're fit & healthy either.

I would suggest the Everton medical team know Dele can get fit, it's just a case of when. Also if they want to do a deal with Spurs, then they also definitely see a future for Dele in our team so why anyone would deduce from that he's 'finished' doesn't add up at all to me.

I would love to see Dele fit and playing for us. He's a fantastic footballer, easily the most talented player at Everton.

Anthony Dove
22 Posted 23/09/2023 at 11:41:53
I hope Dele is able to get his life in order.

However, I would be very surprised if he plays top-tier football again.

Paul Smith
23 Posted 23/09/2023 at 11:42:17
Dele is long past being a fantastic footballer, James. His performances suggest there is no passion, hunger or desire to be who he once was.

I'm not sure it's anything to do with fitness – it's his overall attitude, mindset and form. Maybe that's why people think he's finished.

Alan J Thompson
24 Posted 23/09/2023 at 11:50:12
Is it only Everton or do other clubs find themselves in this sort of situation? It appears we can't even do medicals properly.

Good luck to the player but this mess can't be doing him much good other than as they say, you have to reach rock bottom to start going up. Wouldn't have been the terms of Bill's dinner would it?

Robert Tressell
25 Posted 23/09/2023 at 11:53:13
It's very sad with Dele Alli - and the interview with Neville was a real eye-opener. But I can't see him ever playing top flight football again. If he really wants to, he could of course just dial down his wage demands but that won't happen. So he'll probably just sit out the rest of the season and then try to find someone to give him a deal next summer. Not sure he'll have many suitors - certainly not in the Premier League.

We really need to get him and Gomes off our books like we did with Gbamin and start again.

Jim Lloyd
26 Posted 23/09/2023 at 12:22:56
Robert, my view is, while he's on our books, then let's see what he does. Time to start binning is when we try them, not when we think they're finished.
Allen Rodgers
27 Posted 23/09/2023 at 12:29:41
I'm amazed to read, at the top of the article, he's played 13 times for us.
Matthew Johnson
28 Posted 23/09/2023 at 14:10:09
Dele is ever going to amount to anything special for the rest of his career - if he actually still has one.

He looks more than happy to be snapped here there and everywhere, 100k a week allows him to have a lavish lifestyle, when that gravy train runs out he will be another dailymail story in 5 years time 'remember Dele Alli? Used to earn 100k a week, now he is broke, homeless and selling football boots in a JD Sports shop in Grimsby'

Paul Kossoff
29 Posted 23/09/2023 at 15:23:23
Rip his contract up. We were conned with Spurs not disclosing his state of mind and body, or it was soft arse Kenwright doing one of his mates a favour. Ali was cast aside by three managers, HELLO!!! are we that stupid.
Sue Spurs for that. Knowing the idiots running Everton, we will end up paying him an improved and longer contract. Cue, "Oh you can't say that, that's not right."
No, but us being skint and paying out millions to players who are not fit to play is ok.
Farkov Redz
30 Posted 23/09/2023 at 15:42:23
If we had a decent midfield and a playmaker we wouldn't even bother with Dele...

I obviously hope the best for the lad as he like us all have had tough times, but seriously he's probaly finito and we are wasting time on a long gone very talented player that if was going to be restored to old Dele Spurs would of kept him no?!

File under too much social media snowflakes.

Peter Thistle
31 Posted 23/09/2023 at 15:43:14
Play him until he reaches 19 games then tell him to sod off. Ain't worth paying money for a player who's almost outta contract and would cost a bundle after reaching 20 games.
Mike Gaynes
32 Posted 23/09/2023 at 17:25:31
Jim #20, could not agree more. Rehab from emotional issues is longer and harder than rehab from a physical injury, and certainly the odds are stacked against Dele, but I want to see him get his last chance. The spectacular talent is still there, and obviously it would be a stroke of lightning, but he could change the fortunes of this club.
David West
33 Posted 24/09/2023 at 16:48:37
Couldn't we just play him for the six games one short of triggering the fee, then negotiate with him for when he's a free agent and not have to pay Tottenham a penny ?

Levy will probably just say when he plays the next 20 games it's 20m.

I know loyalty is rare in football, but the lad said Everton have been good to him.

I mean if I was dele I'd be saying, ill prove myself over the 6 games, give me a couple of million signing on fee Instead of paying spurs 10m.

I'm not sure of the intricacies of the deal that brought him here, but he's nearly out of contract and will be available on a free. I think he may struggle to play 7 games for us this year anyway.

Nick White
34 Posted 24/09/2023 at 18:02:01
I remember when Rangers were skint and asked us to renegotiate Michael Ball’s appearance related terms. We refused. Ultimately Rangers went bust and had to start again from the bottom division. Don’t think Ball did play much for them again although may be wrong?
Chris Sikorski
35 Posted 25/09/2023 at 12:41:12
I would like to think after all the positive and supportive words from the Spurs camp following the interview they are more likely to take the pressure off Alli or is money more important than mental health. I don't think they every believed they'd be getting to 10million or anything so I don't think they will have included that in their accounts, we aren't competing with them for Europe or anything and we could help be beating their nearest rivals. It's all win win for Spurs, especially in terms of PR in my opinion.
Dave Abrahams
36 Posted 26/09/2023 at 09:53:22
Whether Dele comes back or not why he was signed by Everton needs a good looking at, concentrating on the terms of this contract especially.

The lad had had a very poor three seasons with Spurs, three managers had done their best to get Dele to buck up and get back to his best, they gave up on him, Levy was desperate to get Dele and his massive wages off the book, then mugs wanted entered the scene and signed for this ridiculous deal.

Dele was a very good footballer, once upon a time, maybe he can come back, plenty did in fairy tales, can Dele come back in real life? Would you bet on it? I truly hope he does but the odds are definitely against him.

Denis Richardson
37 Posted 26/09/2023 at 13:27:18
Levy must have thought it was the 1st April….
Sam Hoare
38 Posted 26/09/2023 at 13:45:35
Alli looked very good about 4/5 years ago but that is a long time in football and I suspect those thinking he can regain that form are supping of the fantastical juice. It looks very much like he has neither the physical or mental appetite to take that sort of limelight again.

Part of the reason we are in this horrendous financial mess is because time and time again we have gone for reputation over form and fit to the system (Sigurdsson, Rooney, Gomes, Rodriguez etc) and sadly the gamble on Alli was just that again. £100k per week on a player who barely features at all along with the wages for Gomes and Gbamin (slightly unlucky there). Hopefully such mistakes are now a thing of the past.

Denis Richardson
39 Posted 26/09/2023 at 20:23:10
Good summary, Sam, and actually something that gives me hope overall. Our financial situation is dire and the main cause is relatively easy to correct – stop signing players on overly inflated fees and salaries who end up leaving on a free. It's not really that hard. We've literally lost hundreds of millions of pounds by just recouping zero transfer fees on multiple players, before we even factor in wages.

I went through our transfers since 2016 in the summer and calculated we spent about £290m on 15 players since 2016, in transfer fees alone, who all left (or will leave in the case of Doucouré) on a free. When you add in their wages that number's over £500m. The likes of Niasse, Sigurdsson, Mina, Schneiderlin, Williams, Gbamin, Tosun etc.

There will be those where bad luck played a part (eg, Bolasie, Sigurdsson) but for the most part its simply been awful transfer strategy often carried out through misplaced panic (eg, Tosun, Walcott - we were never in danger of going down when Allardyce came in).

If the club just signs players with common sense, i.e. don't overpay, don't offer players £100k+ contracts and sign players in their early to mid 20s not 30s if paying a fee, that alone will put a break on things and allow us to at least break even and possibly make a profit on player trading. We get to the point of not being able to get rid of players because we offered them far too high a salary – of course they then won't go if it means taking a massive pay cut.

Alli, Gomes and Keane are the last 3 awful signings and I doubt we'll get any fees for any of them. Keane's contract still runs to 2025!

Barry Rathbone
40 Posted 26/09/2023 at 20:43:20
Very simple this one.

Either Spurs accommodate our demands or he doesn't play in an Everton shirt again and Spurs get zip.

No need for sentimentality this isn't a rehab centre and the odds are short on him breaking down given his history.

ps, Kev, if you want to use this as an email to Spurs, permission granted. Spend time recruiting rather than faffing over Dele and Spurs.

Sam Hoare
41 Posted 27/09/2023 at 10:18:36
Denis@39, yes exactly. For years I got frustrated by those on here who said 'it's not your money!' when it seemed so clear that spending large fees on players with little or no resale value was only going to end up in disaster. Happily the club do seem to have learned its lesson a little bit in this regard and we slowly moving towards realising that you have to buy and sell talented young players as part of a successful football business model unless you have remarkable overseas pull and sponsorship like the big boys. The likes of Onana and Branthwaite will be sold for big fees over the next few years but hopefully we will continue to bring in good young players who will grow in value as well as a smattering of low cost older professionals (Barry, Townsend, Young, Tarkowski etc) to provide a balanced squad.

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