28/02/2024 119comments  |  Jump to last

Dele Alli returned to Finch Farm this week to resume light training as he bids to mount another comeback from a year’s worth of injury problems and set-backs, although it remains to be seen if he can gain sufficient fitness to play again before the end of the season.

The 27-year-old underwent a second surgery to repair a quad muscle late last year and is ready to step up his recovery back on Merseyside after spending the past few weeks in London, working to an individualised rehabilitation programme that has allowed him to stay close to his support network in the Capital.

Dele hasn’t played a competitive game since first sustaining the injury on duty for Besiktas a year ago and he last turned out for the Toffees in May 2022, his only start for the club to date following 12 substitute appearances.

Given the complicated nature of the deal that brought him to Merseyside from Tottenham Hotspur in January that year when Frank Lampard arrived as the Toffees’ boss, it’s not clear if he will ever don Everton colours again, particularly as it now emerges that any new deal he signs would also trigger a payment to the North London club.

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Having largely failed to convince the coaching staff at Finch Farm that he was either fully fit or fully engaged, it was agreed that Dele should move to Turkey for the 2022-23 season to give him time and space to rediscover his best form.

However, after seeking help in the United States last spring, he publicly revealed in an interview with Gary Neville the mental health and substance addiction issues he has been battling and which were so destructive to a once-stellar career for Spurs and England and which prevented him from ever really impressing for Everton in his first half-season with the club.

“I was in a bad cycle,” he confessed. “I was relying on things that were doing me harm and I was waking up every day, winning the fight, going into training showing that I was happy, but inside I was definitely losing the battle and it was time for me to change it.”

Feeling as strong as ever psychologically, Dele has been kept away from the pitch by his injury problems but, as Paddy Boyland reports in The Athletic, the end may be in sight as he returns to the grass to begin light running and repetition exercises to build his strength before he can resume ball work.

In his comments to the media since his interview with Neville on The Overlap, Dele has given every indication that he wants to reignite his career at Everton whom he credits for giving him so much support over the past 12 months but the player’s fitness is only part of the story.

The deal reputedly arranged between then Everton chairman, Bill Kenwright, and Tottenham owner, Daniel Levy, that brought Dele to Goodison, initially for free, involves staggered payments to Spurs once certain appearance milestones are reached, with £10m due once he plays his 20th game for the Blues. However, Boyland reveals that a lump sum would also be due to the London club should Dele sign a new contract at Goodison Park when his current deal expires.

With the saga over Everton's ownership still not resolved and, by consequence, the club's ability to finance any payments or new contracts up in the air, it's not clear whether the Blues will have the leeway to retain him on his current terms, thought to be worth six figures per week, unless they can be renegotiated. 

That has increased the need for the two clubs to resume the preliminary talks that were reportedly held last year to restructure the deal so that it incentivises Everton to play Dele, provides the player stability and continuity, and enables him to get back onto the pitch.


Reader Comments (119)

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Andy Crooks
1 Posted 28/02/2024 at 23:53:11
The new signing we need! He's the best footballer at the club by a million miles.

There's always a "however", however. If the finances can be worked out, I think there's a gamble worth taking. It is entirely possible that this lad can turn his life and career round. Why not with us?

Let the Dele redemption be our redemption.

Sam Hoare
2 Posted 28/02/2024 at 23:56:22
Everyone loves a fairytale. Except Daniel Levy perhaps. And I can't see him letting Everton off the hook for a decent chunk of change.

If Alli was prepared to accept a pay as you play contract and Levy would take a couple of mill to release other claims then sure. But given his injury problems and how very long it has been since he had a consistent impact on the pitch I think any other financial arrangement would be crazy.

Best of luck to him whatever happens.

Mike Gaynes
3 Posted 29/02/2024 at 00:20:20
Amen, Andy #1.

Everton has been just what an unhealthy Dele needed most. And now, a healthy Dele might be just what Everton needs most. He turns 28 in April and carries more natural skill in his boots than the rest of our roster put together. And he clearly feels a debt to this club and this manager.

Agreed, a gamble worth taking if practicable.

Dupont Koo
4 Posted 28/02/2024 at 00:39:23
As much as we want to see Dele to recover and succeed on a personal level, the club's financial situation dictates that it would be utter lunacy and malpractice (as if the Moshiri regime has not given us enough of those!) to give him an extension, regardless of how big a discount that would be compared to his reportedly £120K/week base salary till June 30th.

Levy is the Bean Counter of the bean counters and he is by no means a charity. I feel for Thelwell that he needed to make the call to Spurs to be laughed at for nothing that he has done.

(Hail Liar Bill for another glorious legacy for the club!)

Let's just hope that Dyche has the panache, with Dele getting himself fit enough to pass Gaffer's Day, to play him as an impact sub for 6 more games before the end of the season.

If Dele is deemed fit enough (a high bar in Dyche's mind) and somebody tells Dyche that he can make a substitution before 70th minute of games, we might just be able to see Dele's Everton Swan Song. A healthy (physically & mentally) Dele can still do a job against teams at the bottom half of the league.

Kieran Kinsella
5 Posted 29/02/2024 at 01:40:27
Andy & Mike,

I love you both but we've been paying this guy £100k a week for 2 years – during which time he's barely played for us or in Turkey due to injury, fitness issues and poor form. Prior to that, he'd basically been out of form then frozen out at Spurs for 2 years.

The idea we'd paid some kind of fee to re-sign an out-of-contract player, in addition to paying his wages, when we have a threadbare squad, are in breech of PSR again, and the man in question hasn't shown any sustained form or fitness since 5 years ago!!! That just seems like the kind of thing Kenwright would do.

And we are where we are because he ran this club for 30 years. It's a hard No from me.

Eric Myles
6 Posted 29/02/2024 at 03:51:33
I agree with Kieran.

But if another club were to sign him as a free agent and loan him to us? A club owned by 777 Partners maybe?

Steve Brown
7 Posted 29/02/2024 at 05:17:39
Giving Dele a new contract after 13 games with us in 2 years while on £100K a week? That is the sort of thing Bill Kenwright would do.

It was worth the gamble at the time, but it hasn't worked out and I don't think we will be over-paying for players on transfer fees or wages in the future.

Steve Oshaugh
8 Posted 29/02/2024 at 05:27:33
There is zero chance of him getting a new contract with us given our financials. It is almost guaranteed he will start playing brilliantly for someone else, of course.

I was hopeful he would come right for us but it didn't happen. I'll be incredibly grateful for his second half showing against Palace...

Who knows, he might end up playing a few cameos towards the end of the season. I hope he does and hope he plays well and scores a goal or two at Goodison.

Derek Knox
9 Posted 29/02/2024 at 05:57:34
Totally agree with Andy and Mike G, about Dele's undoubted talent, and, exactly what we need at the moment. However the conundrum of his fitness, both mental and physical, is both a worry and is verging on 'white elephant' territory, the longer it continues.

Sometimes my scepticism queries: Is he definitely unavailable for both of the issues mentioned? Or is it some sort of expensive Cat and Mouse scenario with Levy and Spurs. Surely no-one could be so unlucky with injury having not played since the last Preston Guild seemingly.

As for the mental factor, it was about a year ago since the Gary Neville interview and he seemed to have got all the monkeys off his back. Oh how we could do with him for the difficult season run-in/survival ahead!

Danny O’Neill
10 Posted 29/02/2024 at 06:20:01
A real shame. Such a talented footballer that seems to have lost his way, due to mental health, which he has been open about. I didn't realise about the addiction he referred to.

On the injury side, a quad tear is a nasty one. Having experienced it myself, it doesn't sound serious but it's a tricky one to come back from. Just when you feel you're okay, you break down again. And again.

It was quicker and easier coming back from the leg and ankle breaks. The ligament damage was a bit trickier. Running in straight lines after 4 weeks but try twisting and turning on a football pitch. No chance.

I wish him well to get back to what he is good at. He still has a lot to offer if he can get his head back on it. And regardless of the finances, I hope that can be with Everton.

Steve Carter
11 Posted 29/02/2024 at 06:46:26
Oh, for the love of Pete, yeah, let's give this utter charlatan "another chance".

The bloke who turned up first day looking like a cross between Snoop Dogg and a tramp, was gash when he did play the (what?) two games, promptly got rissoled by Besiktas, has been injured for two years, etc.

Give us a break. Dele won't have to chug on his balloon to join Daniel Levy in hysterics reading some of the above. You've got to hand it to Daniel, though: has he ever sold a better pup?

Colin Glassar
12 Posted 29/02/2024 at 07:02:20
Will we ever learn?

Good old, sentimental Everton always wanting to do the right thing but always shooting ourselves in the foot.

Paul Hewitt
13 Posted 29/02/2024 at 07:05:06
Colin, I would think any new contract for Dele Alli would be for far less than what he's on now, probably some sort of "paid if you play" deal. Certainly for the first year to see if he can get back to what he once was.
Mark Murphy
14 Posted 29/02/2024 at 07:31:00
Not a chance this will happen.

Just throwing bad money after bad if we sign a new contract and I sincerely hope that this ongoing struggle has at least taught us something about finances in football.

Sad for the guy but it's not going to happen.

Christy Ring
15 Posted 29/02/2024 at 07:44:46
A fit Dele Allí Would be a bonus, but he's been paid massive money for the last couple of years without hardly kicking a ball, so what's going to change next season?

Didn't he have a bad hip injury which is hardly a good sign.

Colin Glassar
16 Posted 29/02/2024 at 07:45:45
Paul, we will probably have to sell Onana and Branthwaite to buy a few more Man Utd rejects and 1-2 golden oldies.

Alli is probably finished, both physically and mentally, as a top-flight player. I thought after Gazza we'd have learnt our lesson.

Neil Lawson
17 Posted 29/02/2024 at 07:46:18
A conversation not worth having. Just send him on his way.
Jerome Shields
18 Posted 29/02/2024 at 08:05:06
Rarely is there a simple solution to such a problem. The whole deal stinks from beginning to end. We will never know if the parties involved got anything or not out of the deal: Kenwright, Lampard, Uncle Harry (formerly Manager at Spurs).

Dele Alli's problems would have been known and should have showed up at a medical. Showing up at Goodison is a white Rolls-Royce with the eyes standing in his head.

But this final payment on signing a new contract is likely to be the death knell of Dele Alli's career. At Everton, they did try their best, but they were probably working with a deal were payments had already been made.

The final payment is Levy's insurance policy, whatever way you look at it. Everton may have to pay it whether they keep or get rid of Dele to another club.

David Bromwell
19 Posted 29/02/2024 at 08:20:08
Sadly, I fear this is yet another part of the sad soap opera which has been ruining our club for too long. By all accounts, Dele Alli has been paid a small fortune by us already, and whilst I wish him well, I sincerely hope that, when his present contract with us comes to an end, we shake hands and he leaves.

We have to be realistic, his signing by the club was a gamble, and for the cub it's been a spectacular failure. We are now in survival mode, and we simply cannot afford players on excessive wages who, for whatever reason, are unable to play regularly. Boring it may be but, for now and the foreseeable future, it's simply all we can afford.

Jerome Shields
21 Posted 29/02/2024 at 08:22:25
I suggest you all Wiki Harry Redknapp and go to the section Corruption Allegations and Arrest.
Jerome Shields
22 Posted 29/02/2024 at 08:27:35
Eddie Dunn
23 Posted 29/02/2024 at 08:36:57
The lad might very well have plenty of talent but that deal and his huge wages over so long epitomises the kind of idiocy that got us in the mess we are languishing in today.

If we get a few games out of him towards the end of the season, then we might have some idea if he is anywhere near what he once was.

I doubt he can get fit to the required level after so long out.

Ian Jones
24 Posted 29/02/2024 at 08:41:08
It's not always about the money, even if we are clearly struggling with finances at the moment.

In an ideal world, I'd be happy to see a fit Dele stay with us and see if he can rekindle some of his ability with us. He might feel he owes us as we have helped him out. But loyalty is thin on the ground these days.

The comment... 'working to an individualised rehabilitation programme that has allowed him to stay close to his support network in the Capital.' is interesting.

Dele might just decide that at the end of the day he might prefer to play at a club near London to carry on being close to his support network. I can see him doing a job for teams like Brentford, Fulham, possibly Luton etc.

Kevin Edward
25 Posted 29/02/2024 at 08:43:34
Holy smoke! On one thread we're panicking about going bust and into administration.

Is it a good idea to pay £100k a week to a player who hasn't been fit enough to turn out regularly for 4 years? I'm not blaming Dele, I guess he's done his best. It was a gamble that we lost big time.

Why not spend the money on two or three good young prospects who are fit and hungry to boost the squad?

(Ha ha, that's why I'd never get a job in football.)

Michael Lynch
26 Posted 29/02/2024 at 08:50:34
Good luck to Dele in the future, but there's no way in this or any other world that Everton would fork out £10M and another £15M contract for this player.

Sure, he may well reignite his career, but at a club in a position to take a massive risk on a player who's been injured or shit for the last 4 or 5 years. A redemption story like that is rare in football. Even Ross Barkley didn't hit the lows that Dele has hit.

John Keating
27 Posted 29/02/2024 at 08:55:37
This signing was ridiculous from day one.

As a complete waste of money, it's on par with The World's Greatest Evertonian's purchase of 200 lawnmowers for Finch Farm.

Ian Jones
29 Posted 29/02/2024 at 08:57:26

I followed your suggestion and looked at Wiki and saw the video to do with Harry Redknapp.

What was your point?

Sean Kelly
32 Posted 29/02/2024 at 09:05:12
We've given him over £10 million in the last few years and looked after him medically and emotionally. For God's sake, when will we stop being this sentimental shit-show?

It's a business. An employee that can't work would need a sick cert and get sick cert money but Everton pay him full whack.

We need to move on; enough is enough. Oh, by the way, we are skint — getting pay-day loans to keep us going.

David Nicholls
33 Posted 29/02/2024 at 09:21:42
I fail to see what power Spurs have here.

From my understanding, Dele is not on loan and will therefore be a free agent when his contract with us expires; meaning, he can sign for any team in the world and Spurs get nothing —unless they agree to restructure the deal with us at much more favourable terms from a blue perspective…

Frank Fearns
34 Posted 29/02/2024 at 09:23:38
Simple. We cannot afford to keep paying a physical and emotional wreck in the hope that there'll be a sudden transformation and we'll have a world class player.

Spurs got rid for a reason and we were the mugs to sign him. Move on.

Mark Ryan
35 Posted 29/02/2024 at 09:37:05
When he signed, I thought "Great, give the lad a new start."

Now, 2 years on, I feel enough is enough. He is 2 years older than when he came to Everton. He has proven to us all that he is now injury-prone without enduring the rigours of a full Premier League season.

It's a no-brainer. Everton need to stop dithering over this one. Move on!

David West
36 Posted 29/02/2024 at 10:06:29
What do Spurs and Levy get out of this if Alli doesn't play again???

We have to pay if he signs a new contract but I'm guessing, if he doesn't, he can sign for another club for free?

Surely there's some conflict with the Bosman rule here. A player out of contract is a free agent, free to sign with whoever he chooses, with no transfer fee.

I'm no expert in the Bosman rule but how can this be legal? It's a ridiculous state not just we find ourselves in, but the lad himself.

Alli, in my opinion, if he has any loyalty, respect for how Everton have dealt with him, respect for the fans, who have given him backing and support, the club for paying his huge wages, should get himself free of this deal and sign a free contract with us where he gets paid if he plays for us.

He may never get fit, may never be the player he was, but shouldn't he be trying to give a little something back to this club?

Brian Harrison
37 Posted 29/02/2024 at 10:06:35
We have paid Dele in excess of £10.2M since he arrived from Spurs, and he started 1 game in over 2 years.

No more needs to be said.

Christopher Timmins
38 Posted 29/02/2024 at 10:14:13
Given our finances, there would need to be a totally revamped agreement in place with both the player and his former club in order for any consideration to be given to offering him a new contract. In addition he would need to provide evidence on the field of play before the season end that he can still make a contribution.

I just can't see it.

Sam Hoare
39 Posted 29/02/2024 at 10:25:04
Kevin @25,

I think it's safe to say that, if we did sign Alli to a new contract, it would not be anywhere in the region of £100k per week. It would likely be half that and even then it would hopefully be contigent on appearances and availability etc.

If Alli were to become a free agent this summer, I wonder what his options would be? I could see him going to the MLS or Saudi where he will get paid more for his reputation and have a lower standard of game to hopefully bring himself back to form.

Robert Tressell
40 Posted 29/02/2024 at 10:38:35
We would be bonkers to give any contract to Dele Alli.
Jerome Shields
41 Posted 29/02/2024 at 10:40:27
Ian #30,

It proves that Harry had contact with Everton during the time of what has turned out to be a dubious deal. Make up your own mind why he would do so.

Clive Rogers
42 Posted 29/02/2024 at 10:42:50
None of this convinces me that he wants to play football again. His heart is not in it any more.
Brian Williams
43 Posted 29/02/2024 at 10:49:49
David #36,

As daft as this may sound it could very well be that the clause covers us "renewing" his present contract. That would mean negotiating it and having it in place before his present one runs out.

I'd be very surprised if Dele couldn't legally let his contract run out with Everton and then sign for us again and thus avoid Spurs receiving anything.

For the very reason(s) you raise.

Chris Leyland
44 Posted 29/02/2024 at 10:50:49
If he desperately wants to sign a new contract and there's a fee due to Spurs if he does, here's an idea:

Dele pays that fee that is owed to Spurs himself. He's a multi-millionaire and he's been well looked after by Everton and paid in excess of £5M a season since he's been here.

He then signs a contract with a low basic salary but with incentives heavily weighted to appearances, goals etc.

Jim Wilson
45 Posted 29/02/2024 at 10:55:20
Just another example of why PSR is ridiculous.

The Premier League should just tell Everton: "Pay what you need to pay to help Dele, for the well being of the player, and it doesn't have to be included in any PSR calculation."

Ernie Baywood
46 Posted 29/02/2024 at 10:59:51
Jim, we've already tried the player welfare argument for a PSR calculation and it rightly failed.

Should we recontract injured players as well as those with mental health issues?

We're a business which should make business decisions. We can choose to make decisions for other reasons but, if we do, then we're responsible for them.

Ernie Baywood
47 Posted 29/02/2024 at 11:01:30
And if anyone thinks for one second that Dele Alli himself might be the key to getting a deal over the line, they're kidding themselves.

He's not going to forego anything when he can get a contract somewhere else and not think twice about it.

Danny O’Neill
48 Posted 29/02/2024 at 11:08:04
With all due respect Ernie, and I do respect your views, but many suffer from mental health issues and PTSD. I have mates who have had terrible experiences.

I have had experiences of it myself but coped with it. It never goes away, but with support, you can live with it.

I don't like to talk about it too much but this triggered me. The lad needs support.

There is a duty of care. You don't abandon people because they are struggling.

I'll use an Everton example. We didn't abandon Duncan Ferguson. We supported him when he went through tough times. On two occasions.

Ernie Baywood
49 Posted 29/02/2024 at 11:21:55
Danny, I'm not diminishing mental health. I'm putting it in a category with many other ailments that require support.

Alli has had the kind of financial and other types of support from Everton that practically no-one gets.

How long are we to support him financially?

Danny O’Neill
50 Posted 29/02/2024 at 11:24:06
I know, Ernie.

It's a bit like saying how long do we support people on the health system because of health issues. Mental or physical.

I understand your point Ernie. I'm just counter-acting.

Tony Abrahams
51 Posted 29/02/2024 at 11:46:49
I personally think the last few months have been bad for every single Evertonian's mental health and it's something that affects us all in different ways.

I've just been speaking to one of my neighbours and he shook his head and looked at me like I had two heads when I said that I don't believe for one minute that Bill Kenwright is really dead… but I suppose that's what supporting Everton for all these years has done to me.

The last few months have been an absolute nightmare. If it's true what The Esk has allegedly written (about Moshiri and 777 Partners extending the deadline even though the Premier League now seem to be asking for meetings), then it doesn't feel like things are going to be resolved anytime soon.

Good luck to Dele Alli because, all being well, he must feel like he owes Everton plenty, so hopefully he can become the player he once was once again and this is not something that is going to be easy to achieve.

Pat Kelly
52 Posted 29/02/2024 at 11:48:06
This exemplifies why we are where we are. Just as well we're broke or we'd probably flush more money down this drain.
Ian Jones
53 Posted 29/02/2024 at 11:54:23
Jerome, I just see it as Harry Redknapp offering advice to his nephew. Nothing more. I appreciate he does have some previous but don't think there was anything else going on.

The thing that always makes me laugh was Frank welcoming Dele Alli at Finch Farm. I think it was on the day Frank joined as manager. Frank said to Dele something on the lines "We did it!"

The best part is watching Dele being shown around Finch Farm. He gives the appearance of not knowing what he's done. I suppose Tottenham's training ground and facilities are far superior to ours.

Peter Thistle
54 Posted 29/02/2024 at 13:13:49
An absolute waste of time and money, get rid...
Brian Wilkinson
55 Posted 29/02/2024 at 13:52:25
The guy is out of contract in June; after that, Spurs do not have any rights and he is a free agent.

If Dele Alli wants to repay like he said to Dyche, sit tight for a month after end of June, then give Everton his word he will sign for Everton in August, on a 'pay as you play' contract.

Just a quick change of subject in regards to derby tickets through ticket master.

There is a new post about the derby ticet fiasco an Evertonian has put up on this site, have a read of it if you get chance.

Brendan McLaughlin
56 Posted 29/02/2024 at 14:20:10
Agree, Brian #55.

I suspect the "out of contract" aspect simply wasn't highlighted to provoke more of a reaction to the article.

Not sure Dyche will want Dele in any case.

Peter Hodgson
57 Posted 29/02/2024 at 14:47:22
None of the above all the dreamers out there are talking about.

Show him the door for all the sensible reasons we already know about – never mind all of the other reasons we don't know about or can only speculate about.

It isn't April 1st is it?

Dennis Stevens
58 Posted 29/02/2024 at 15:00:16
If he gets fit enough to make a handful of appearances, probably off the bench, to supplement the squad for the last few matches of the season, that might be handy. That scenario may also benefit the player himself, too.

However, appearances should remain below the threshold for further payments to Spurs and he should be waved on his way at the end of the season.

A gamble that didn't really work out, but he might still make a useful contribution before he goes.

Jay Harris
59 Posted 29/02/2024 at 15:47:53
Kieran is absolutely correct: you can't be out of Premier League action for 5 years and then suddenly recover that level.

The mental and physical demands are so high it would take him years to even approach that level and, with his injury record, I doubt he will make it to top level football again.

I hate to say it but I would sooner spend the money trying to tempt some of the RS academy kids.

Jerome Shields
60 Posted 29/02/2024 at 16:17:04
Ian #53,

I agree with your interpretation, but this was a £40 million deal with some very complicated clauses agreed to and a basic lack of due diligence.

As you pointed out, he was pretty spaced out when shown around Finch Farm. Even the Everton fans that greeted him seemed to be wondering what they got. I am confident they are not stupid.

It really is beyond a joke on top of everything else this season.

Brendan #56,

Given the nature of the deal, it was likely that Everton could try to sign him when he was out of contract and not have triggered the payment. Alli may be out of contract but Everton may still have to fulfil this newly revealed clause if they agreed to it.

Stephen Jones
61 Posted 29/02/2024 at 17:37:26
The guy is a highly-paid basket-case.

Of course we all feel sorry for him but he has made more money just in his short time at Everton than a lottery winner.

If he wants to sort out his mental demons, then he should use some of his vast wealth to pay for professional help. Football is a business – not a charity.

David West
62 Posted 29/02/2024 at 17:49:20
Brian @43. It must be the case.

How we could have used 10% of the shrewdness Levy has shown over the last 7 or 8 years. No players we ever sold or loaned were ever on such terms. We just shipped them out, carried on paying their wages until they departed for nothing or we got a minimal fee.

As someone else mentioned, he will probably want to be closer to London if he does sign another contract, so I think he will be another ghost of a player to go with Sandro, Gbamin and others of the Moshiri era.

Brendan McLaughlin
63 Posted 29/02/2024 at 18:12:19
Jerome #60,

The Bosman ruling removed any control which clubs had on players who were out of contract. This "newly revealed" clause, if it existed, would limit an out-of-contract player's freedom to choose.

It doesn't exist... it's mere suggestion to hype an article.

Rob Jones
64 Posted 29/02/2024 at 18:23:28
There's no complication, here. It's not complicated at all.

If he becomes fit, and at the right level, play him for six games. He'd be perfectly useful behind Calvert-Lewin.

At the end of the season, we shake hands, without bitterness or rancour, say thank you, and send him on his way.

He's cost us far too much money already. He's not worth the salary that he'll command, and he's certainly not worth giving money to Tottenham, who fleeced us on the Richarlison deal.

Roger Helm
65 Posted 29/02/2024 at 18:36:40
He will never play for us again. He well may be very talented but how many players can we name who are blessed with fantastic talent but never make it due to character or psychological problems?

Dyche of all people values consistent effectiveness, hard work and mental toughness, none of which this player has. Also, do we really want any more Everton cash ending up in the accounts of Spurs, of all the clubs in the world?

Alastair Donaldson
67 Posted 29/02/2024 at 19:58:32
Spurs, I can't say the name without spitting.

If it's true they want to sign any or all of our three wanted players, I seriously hope we say on your bike we don't sell to the competition (per their alleged Kane to Man Utd stance).

They used to treat Southampton as a feeder club, now they see us the same way.

As for Dele, he's surely finished at EFC.

Rob Jones
68 Posted 29/02/2024 at 20:12:07
Alastair, after the way they exploited us on the Richarlison deal, I hope we never do business with them again.
Brian Williams
69 Posted 29/02/2024 at 20:21:20
How DID they exploit us in the Richarlison deal? 🤔
Jason Hewly
70 Posted 29/02/2024 at 20:29:28
There are ways around the contract. We can't be tied if the present contract lapses and we sign him as a free agent because restraint of trade would come into play.

However, if Dele wants to repay the faith and time the club have given him, he needs to go all Rocky 4. Give up the toys, live in a shed, and become a football ascetic for 5 years.

I'd love to see him come good.

Ed Prytherch
71 Posted 29/02/2024 at 20:38:36
The money that we have paid him is water under the bridge and he is 2 years younger than Ross Barkley.

I agree with Sam #2

Jerome Shields
72 Posted 29/02/2024 at 20:57:31
Brendan #63

What I am suggesting is that Dele will be a free agent, but Everton still have a payment agreement clause with Spurs should he join Everton or another club. Dele can join whatever club he wants to… but Everton will have to pay Spurs.

That is my reading of it, but I could be wrong.

Danny Baily
73 Posted 29/02/2024 at 20:58:15
Jason 70,

Never mind Rocky IV, I'm worried the whole club is about to go Rocky V. Certainly feels like we've had Paulie looking after the finances.

Brian Williams
74 Posted 29/02/2024 at 21:18:24
Jerome #72.

I very much think you're wrong.

So we buy Dele from Spurs and they put a condition in the contract that, if he leaves us after his contract with us is complete and then signs for another club, we pay Spurs a fee?

Noooot very likely at all, is it?

Derek Thomas
75 Posted 29/02/2024 at 21:19:40
Levy in - Everton yet again get done like a dinner - shocker.

Personally, I hope Dele as an individual regains full mental and physical fitness and may he yet surprise us all in more ways than one... especially vs Arsenal in the last game of the season.


Until that happy day when things turn out well for us both, I'll continue to work on the tried and tested formula about loyalty and footballers...

If you want loyalty – get a dog.

Kieran Kinsella
76 Posted 29/02/2024 at 21:24:28
A couple of Tabloids are presenting the clause as purely tied to Dele's appearances for Everton. If he hits 20, we pay.

Personally, I find that a bit weird because it implies there is no time limit on this. For example, if he leaves and rejoins us when he is 40 years of age, we'd have to pay up. But that is how the media are reporting it.

The Bosman ruling eliminates fees being demanded for a player joining another club. I can't find anything explaining how it would affect a situation where a player is out of contract, stays at the same club, and his old club want an appearance-based fee.

So either Everton signed the stupidest contract ever, which has no time stipulation during the rest of Dele's life, or the media aren't thinking this through and just making assumptions.

Brendan McLaughlin
77 Posted 29/02/2024 at 21:25:57
Jerome #72,

Everton can sign any free agent at no cost. It's no-one else's business or concern.

Why then would Everton have entered into an agreement with Spurs to sign prospective free agent Dele at a cost when we could sign him without paying Spurs anything?

Makes absolutely no sense whatsoever.

Rob Jones
78 Posted 29/02/2024 at 21:31:42
Brian, because of the fact that the Premier League leaks like a fucking sieve, Tottenham knew we had no choice but to sell. As a result, they signed Richarlison considerably below what he should have cost, and how valuable he was to us.

That's the way they've done business for as long as Levy has been in charge there. He's a brilliant, ruthless businessman.

Kieran Kinsella
79 Posted 29/02/2024 at 21:34:47
Fellows, I have figured it out:

John Stones signed for City in 2016 on a 6-year deal. Seven years later, he won the European Cup, ergo his initial contract had expired and he'd signed a new one.

It was widely reported that, at the end of that 7th year, Everton received a £2.5M bonus that was tied to performance elements, specifically the one that said Everton got more money if he won the European Cup with Man City.

On that basis, presumably the Dele deal that was reported to be worth up to £40M depending on appearances and targets would remain in force after the expiration of his initial contract, just as the Stones clause did after his initial contract had ended.

Brendan McLaughlin
80 Posted 29/02/2024 at 21:37:18
Kieran #76,

I think it's reasonable to assume that the time limit for the 20 game trigger was the 2.5-year contract Dele signed with Everton.

Frank Thomas
81 Posted 29/02/2024 at 22:36:20
This club start going wrong when we allowed players to join the club who did not fully meet the clubs fitness tests based on the 'then' manager's decision. The 'then' manager such as Lampard should have had some fiscal responsibility at stake when overruling the medical staff. Would Frank have signed Dele if say he was responsible for £1M salary for every year Dele is at the club and not fit to play? Even when Frank left the club?

As a comment above stated, yes we have shown great loyalty for many players who have joined the club and served it well.

We also have a lot of fans with poor memories. The night Son (Spurs) tripped Gomes resulting in his broken leg who was the player whose hand was 2 to 3 feet above his head conveniently knocking the ball away from Calvert-Lewin's head and thus thwarting a winning goal for us?

VAR said it was a normal hand position and we know how well they give us decisions like that.

I hope Dele recovers mentally but he should get no more contracts from us. Over £10M in earnings from us that is not fair to any player in our team or all of the Everton staff at our club.

How has our past loyalty been rewarded?

Did Sugurdsson offer to play for us for a year for nothing? Did Zouma want to stay with us? What about players with other problems like alcohol. We have helped many but we have not seen many thank us for that help and loyalty.

Jerome Shields
82 Posted 29/02/2024 at 22:36:34
Brian #74 & Brendan #77,

'It now emerges that any new deal he signs would also trigger a payment to the North London club.'

There is no 'maybe' in this statement. The clause could be tied up with the appearance clause to prevent Everton not triggering the payment and then signing Alli free.

If Dele Alli signs for another club as a free agent, it would be difficult to see how a clause would apply.

Brian Williams
83 Posted 29/02/2024 at 22:50:05
Kieran #79.

The Stones add-ons are in force while he's at Man City, they certainly won't apply should he leave for another club.

Brendan McLaughlin
84 Posted 29/02/2024 at 22:56:44
Jerome #82

It's quite possible that if Dele signs a new deal before he becomes a free agent then there very well may be a clause which triggers a payment to Spurs.

If, however, Dele becomes a free agent after 30 June, he can sign for whoever he wants and Spurs won't be due a payment from anyone.

Kieran Kinsella
85 Posted 29/02/2024 at 23:17:20

I realize that I was saying in reference to if he stays at Everton.

David Connor
86 Posted 01/03/2024 at 01:17:06
To all the people living in cloud cuckoo land: the lad has taken us for a ride for 2 years. He iain't coming back to be the player he once was.

£100k a week for being on the sick. Most of us would've been sacked long ago.

Get rid ASAP. The fella has had enough chances.

Mike Dolan
87 Posted 01/03/2024 at 02:43:37
Dele Alli is an injured world class player. In his last game for Everton, he came on when we were 2 nil down and kept us in the Premier League.

He has been over paid not to play but he's injured, a lot.
I only see him in photos but he seems to be seriously fit in spite of his injuries.

The question really is: How much do we dare to spend signing a player who could answer an awful lot of questions about the kind of Everton we will be watching as we grow into our new selves?

I would say go for it.

Mike Gaynes
88 Posted 01/03/2024 at 03:24:24
Kieran #5, I'm not advocating we pay him anything resembling £100k a week. Obviously a whole lot of compromising has to take place if we're to consider this.

But I also believe the decision should be made in the here and now, not the past. What we've wasted on him financially or how badly we blundered in signing him is water under the bridge.

All that matters is: What can he do for us right now? Dyche will make his assessment based on what he sees at Finch Farm, and then Thelwell will make his decision based on what can be worked out financially.

And maybe, just maybe, both player and club can consign their past bad decisions to hell.

Mike Gaynes
89 Posted 01/03/2024 at 03:40:24
Rob #78, I for one was delighted with what we got for Richarlison. He was good for us, but never great, and he was an absolute catastrophic flop for quite a while at Spurs.

No goals in his first 23 league games, two goals in his first 40, three significant injuries. For a year and a half, most Spurs fans thought we had committed a £60M armed robbery.

So he came back in December from surgery and now, finally, he is scoring in buckets. Good on him for sticking it out, for making the necessary improvements in his finishing, for finally bedding in with a very good side. Congratulations and best wishes to him.

But I think looking at just the past 10 games and concluding that we got skinned in the deal is way off target. I thought Thelwell did great back then, especially under the circumstances, and I think so now.

Eric Myles
90 Posted 01/03/2024 at 05:35:06
David #33, that's exactly how I see it. Spurs only chance to make money from this is for them and Dele to do a deal with Everton on reduced money terms. Maybe a sell on fee for Spurs and a bonus for Dele if he comes good and we sell him on.

Or one of 777s teams sign him on a free and lend him to us.

ps: I just wonder how much of his salary and medical costs are paid by the Club insurance? I bet our premium is high!!

Jerome Shields
91 Posted 01/03/2024 at 08:30:20
There is no doubt that Levy negotiated a deal that was very preferential to Spurs knowing all about Dele Alli. The Everton parties, a Nephew helped by his Uncle and a dinner mate, agreed to some unfavourable terms for reasons only known to them.

As for Dele Alli, it is hard to judge, since his persona is either guided by clinic or psychological symptoms, which even professionally is anybody's guess. Hence the look on all our faces would not look out of place amongst the fans who saw Dele Alli get out of his White Rolls-Royce.

When the true deal comes out in the wash as it will, do not be surprised what Everton agreed to.You all can be confident of that.Delli Alli is not going to give a shit and will be on Instagram with photos of his annual jolly in Dubai in Nov.

Andy Finigan
96 Posted 01/03/2024 at 10:07:37
If the 777 Partners takeover is completed, could we not get one of their other clubs to sign him for a short contract… then our club sign him back again?

Surely that would mean paying no fee to the cunning Levy.

Dave Abrahams
97 Posted 01/03/2024 at 10:24:47
If you buy something without inspecting it, it's no use complaining afterwards when it turns out to be faulty or not what it was supposed to be.

Dele Alli's record for the 2 or 3-year period before he came to Everton was there for all to see, the man who dealt with Levy and agreed with the deal and signed it off is no longer here.

What can't speak, can't lie… I think Dele Alli's form since he came to Everton speaks for itself.

Andrew Grey
98 Posted 01/03/2024 at 10:40:26
Jerome @91,

I don't think anyone saw him arrive for training in his white Rolls-Royce because he arrived in a black one.

His white Rolls is in LA.

Brendan McLaughlin
99 Posted 01/03/2024 at 11:01:49
Andrew #98,

Typical Jerome eh... arguing a black Rolls, white!

Jerome Shields
100 Posted 01/03/2024 at 13:52:47
He arrived at Goodison in his White Rolls.
Ian Jones
101 Posted 01/03/2024 at 14:55:19
If anyone gets the time to read this old article from The Athletic, it's worth it, a good read. I managed to read it without having to subscribe.


I thought Alli turned up in a black roller.

Denis Richardson
104 Posted 01/03/2024 at 18:54:05
We really are a hopeful bunch sometimes. I guess it's better to be optimistic than pessimistic. However, being realistic, the guy has barely kicked a ball in anger consistently over the last 5 years, which happen to coincide with the prime years of his career. 5 years is a huge amount of time to be out in any footballers career.

He's now 28, let him leave in June and look to revive his career elsewhere. Regardless of his previous talent, we have no idea if he's able to ever come close to the sort of form he had back in 2017-18. I just cannot see any justification for continuing any sort of financial investment after June, unless it's on a 100% pay-as-you-play basis with nothing going to Spurs.

If he leaves on a free this summer, Spurs presumably get nothing so why should we have to pay them anything if we re-sign him? Seems an odd deal if he's a free agent.

Dean Johnson
105 Posted 02/03/2024 at 08:20:26
We will be forever stuck in this loop until we stop being a motherhood.

"We can get the best out of him because we are the People's Club and we love to throw good money after bad."

Seriously, Everton, lose this "We're morally better" shit — and that means binning wastes of space like Dele. Just another Shandy van de Meyde…

Seriously, I am having to bin someone in my work team because he's crap. I don't want to because I like him, but I have to for the good of my company and my own job.

Take the difficult decisions, Everton, for fuck's sake!

Danny O’Neill
106 Posted 02/03/2024 at 08:28:31

Although I admire the work that Everton in the Community (EitC) does, I don't like the "People's Club" tag. Never have done. It bought into the "plucky little Everton" brand that developed under Moyes and our now departed Chairman.

Yes, decisions have to be made. Even when you don't want to make them.

Jerome Shields
108 Posted 02/03/2024 at 09:33:33

The problem with '"The People's Club" tag is that most fans now feel they were sold a pup. EitC is a well-run organisation by workers who always give of their best, now without a self-promoting Chairman, who though in another job, never seemed to leave.

I know of a similar double-barreled 'Professor', an MP and, former Minister of State who was Chairman of a charity organisation. Self-promoting and equally useless. She is in nothing now. Lost the whole lot. The charity organisation never looked back.

Danny O’Neill
109 Posted 02/03/2024 at 10:11:59
I would like to see EitC expand it's work outside of L4 and across the City more.

Maybe even the region.

And put more into Everton in the grassroots football development.

Peter Hodgson
110 Posted 02/03/2024 at 14:00:58
Sorry but back to the real world for a moment or two. We were talking about Dele – not EitC or the People's Club (whatever that is).

I'm sorry to say, even after all this time, there are too many dreamers on ToffeeWeb. Mike @ 88 illustrates this for example but he is not on his own.

He says, "But I also believe the decision should be made in the here and now, not the past" still believing therefore that Dele can return to being a good Premier League footballer and take a significant pay cut while at the same time we sort the supposed conflicts with Levy out. Even though Dele hasn't shown the slightest indication he is capable of getting fit and reproducing his form. I dread to think how much money we have already spent on him.

By all means believe there is a way forward with him but being sensible and believing a dream are two different things. The lad unfortunately, I believe, is washed up as a player and it would be a folly in the extreme to waste another penny in trying to rehabilitate him and wipe away his and our mistakes of the past few years. We have tried and it is now down to somebody else, if there is anyone willing to take that chance.

Alan J Thompson
111 Posted 02/03/2024 at 14:35:19
We couldn't possibly offer him a new contract as letting him and Gomes go at the end of the season, and their contracts, is our defence against the P&S charges as we plead insufficient time has passed to see the effect of our cost cutting measures (10.4MPA in wages? which might even meet some 777 interest payments) while buying in nobody compared to the billion or so other clubs have spent on transfer fees alone.
Ant Purcell
112 Posted 02/03/2024 at 18:44:16
Where I work, there are people off with problems like that who get fucking no help.

Didn't look fuck-all up with greedy twat when he was partying in Dubai. Get rid!

Eric Myles
113 Posted 03/03/2024 at 06:36:49
John Crawley
114 Posted 06/03/2024 at 19:22:02
The obvious ploy in this case if we want to keep Dele is to agree a deal with another club to sign him and then sell him to us.
John Raftery
115 Posted 06/03/2024 at 20:18:11
John (114),

Good idea, although knowing us we would probably be deducted points for breaching Premier League rules yet to be drafted.

I see no way back for Dele at this level. I doubt he has the appetite for playing at any other level but wish him well.

Danny O’Neill
116 Posted 06/03/2024 at 20:27:26
John, I think you're right.

He obviously has personal issues, which I respect and admire his honesty when he spoke openly about them.

But as you refer, he just seems to have lost his way and passion for the game.

I too wish him well. I'll always remember the impact he had at that Palace match. Watching the Tunnel Access of that for the umpteenth time, he seemed happy and content.

Such a talent. Such a shame. But I agree with what you say.

Christine Foster
117 Posted 06/03/2024 at 22:49:41
For the last four or five seasons, we saw the ridicule and abuse heaped on a peer of Dele, Ross Barkley. Written off, No-one wanted him; he finds a club where he thrives and, all of a sudden, he is praised from the rafters. Even those wanting him back at our club.

These two players competed for the same England place, hit the highs early, of similar age and ability.

Maybe we are his Luton, somewhere where he can fit and thrive; the bottom line is we don't know. As it stands, the club has 6 games to use him before money is due to Levy, I suspect we may see him then...

If he comes through at what may be the most crucial weeks of our history, then he will silence his critics and find a new contract, with or without our club.

I still wish him well because if he gets back to 70% of the player he was, it will be 70% more than what we have.

Si Cooper
118 Posted 06/03/2024 at 23:20:28
Another topic when others seem to have much more faith in their crystal balls than I'd generally expect. It's all ‘ifs, buts and maybes' at the moment.

If we could get 5 years of top-level ‘Dele Alli' at a knockdown price because he's genuinely grateful to the club and supporters, then we wouldn't be throwing away more money, we'd be recouping some of our ‘investment'.

However, my own crystal ball remains resolutely devoid of information regarding Dele's mojo, mobility, motivation and monetary wants so I'm reduced to waiting to see.

Don Alexander
119 Posted 06/03/2024 at 23:38:32
Dele delivered for Spurs way way more than Ross Barkley has ever delivered for any club, good bad or indifferent.

For us, both were and are basket cases.

Take another ludicrous bow, Kenwright.

Derek Thomas
120 Posted 07/03/2024 at 00:44:05
Si @ 118; 5 years at the top level for us, surely you jest.

Given he's in a race to get fit before the season and/or his contract ends, I hope – but doubt – we'll even get 5 sub appearances, let alone run on starts out of him.

And to expect him to play next season for less than he's stealing now????

Well, miracles do happen, I'm told, so maybe this new mentally and physically redeemed Dele will turn up in May or whenever and help us beat Liverpool and Arsenal... and thus every penny we've spent on him will be seen as money well spent, a long-term master stroke – a gift from beyond the grave from the world's best Evertonian even.

Seeing will be believing. But, as ever with the vast majority of footballers... If you want loyalty – get a dog.

Miami beckons??

Eddie Dunn
121 Posted 07/03/2024 at 08:08:25
If Dele was at his Tottenham peak, he might ignite our forward line and get us much higher up the table.

There are so many question marks over his physical and mental state that, even if both were in good working order, it would surely take a few months before he would be fit. That rules out this season.

The only way he could return would be if a deal was done (to suit us) he could have an extended preseason so the staff could see if he could attain the necessary levels.

Then there would still be the question marks about his mental health, wages and contractual complications with Spurs.

Most likely scenario is that he won't get fit this season, we will financially be too stretched and he will want to go South. Saudi beckens.

Michael Kenrick
122 Posted 13/03/2024 at 08:36:04
What to do when you can't actually find any real facts to substantiate your story?

Well, let's just poll our readers and then make a headline out of it: That's the Daily Express approach to quality sports journalism:

Over 3,800 people voted in the poll held on our website, with 68 per cent of voters believing that Dele Alli's Premier League career is over after Everton star's injury nightmare

Yes, the majority of Express Sport readers, who were asked whether Dele would be able to rekindle a career in England's top flight, said the Englishman won't return as a regular Premier League player.

Danny O’Neill
123 Posted 13/03/2024 at 09:40:17
I personally wouldn't take too much notice of what the Express says these days. Both news and sport.
Dave Abrahams
124 Posted 13/03/2024 at 10:23:47
Michael (122), How did the other 32 per cent vote?
Brendan McLaughlin
125 Posted 13/03/2024 at 13:08:13
Michael #122,

I'm more surprised that 68% of respondents to a Daily Express poll were Evertonians.

Michael Kenrick
126 Posted 04/04/2024 at 10:18:30
The Dele Alli retrospective continues with ex-Spurs team-mate Ben Davies telling the Gab & Juls Show about the now 27-year-old midfielder:

“Dele was incredible when he turned up. He was a young kid from Milton Keynes, and he got thrown into first-team training, and he would just do stuff. It was like playing for fun.

"And I think to start with, the management, the staff probably were like, ‘What's this kid doing? Play properly, get the ball, play here.' He would just, like, ball comes to feet, step over it, tries to go through other people's legs. Sometimes it worked, sometimes it didn't, trying to flick the ball.

"But then we went pre-season again, went and played against Real Madrid, and it was ‘The Dele Show' from there.

“This was a kid for whom there was no difference in level of opposition. That's probably the best way I can describe it. What he did in League One, he would try and do against Modric, against Kroos, these guys. It was irrelevant who he was playing against.

"He had the self-confidence, I think he's spoken about it, which is like the bravery. And when he – that season when he just was breaking through, scoring goals for fun, it was insane. There was no limit for him.

"He could have at that time been similar to, like, a Bellingham kind of player now. Someone who maybe not technically as good as Jude is, but ultimately the game comes down to scoring goals. He used to find a way to score and assist pretty much every game. And he used to just cause nightmares for the opposition.”

Brian Harrison
127 Posted 04/04/2024 at 10:53:53
No doubt the Dele saga will reach a conclusion this summer when he will leave the club.

We will have paid Dele somewhere in the region of £10M for his time here which only saw him play in 13 games, and he started very few of those games. There were no goals or assists in any of those games he took part in.

He has largely spent most of the time in London close to his rehabilitation team. Even the journalists have stopped asking at press conferences about how his fitness is coming along; I suspect that they know there is very little prospect of him ever kicking a ball for the club again.

Michael Kenrick
128 Posted 04/04/2024 at 15:47:44
It certainly looks that way, Brian.

Fewer and fewer games left for him to play in, and a rapidly diminishing prospect that he would trigger the £20M payment now.

But I think you're right. It's telling that no-one is talking about his fitness anymore.

Unless he's Sean Dyche's ultra-secret weapon, and will be front and centre of a radically revamped attacking midfield, starting with the home game against Nottingham Forest and leading us on a fantastic late charge in the final six games of the relegation run-in!

Ray Roche
129 Posted 04/04/2024 at 16:26:18
Just think, if we hadn’t squandered £10m on his wages we could probably have kept Simms, Broadhead etc. Just sayin’.
Rob Jones
130 Posted 04/04/2024 at 17:46:28
Ray, do you really think Nathan Broadhead would have reached where he is had we kept him?

I agree on the waste of wages, and you're absolutely right, we should never have "bought" Dele Alli, but using Nathan Broadhead as if he's some kind of phenom is a bit iffy. Likewise, Simms, before the FA Cup tie against Maidstone, had done nothing in the sky blue shirt.

Ray Roche
131 Posted 05/04/2024 at 08:25:47
Rob, I wouldn’t try to suggest that Broadhead or Simms would have been the answer to our problems, we’ll never know, but they would have been more use than Delli who is a stranger to Goodison, preferring to spend his time with his ‘support network’ in London. For Simms and Broadhead you could read Gray and Townsend. I wish Delli good luck with his health problems but the guy should never have been signed. Spurs, to their shame, binned him and I personally believe that they would have known about his problems and well and truly had our kecks down over that deal.

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