Alex Iwobi has explained why Dele Alli’s career fell apart at Everton, revealing why Frank Lampard rarely played the former England superstar.
Once considered one of, if not the best young talent in the Premier League, Alli has nosedived into obscurity and ruin over the past few seasons.
The attacking midfielder burst onto the scene at Tottenham, scoring 46 goals in his first three seasons in north London before his form and fitness deteriorated, with Jose Mourinho and Antonio Conte benching him more often than not.
Eventually he left for pastures new in January 2022, signing for Everton with the aim of revitalising his career and helping the Toffees avoid relegation.
But he would feature just 13 times in the remainder of that season, failing to register a goal or assist for Lampard’s side before he was shipped off on loan to Besiktas for this campaign.
Throughout his stint in Turkey, Alli was routinely criticised by his manager before his loan was cut short when he suffered a season ending injury in April.
And that same month, the 27-year-old was in the headlines again after photos emerged of him with a gold-coloured balloon and cannisters, which look similar to those which contain nitrous oxide.
Iwobi has now opened up a bit more on why exactly Alli struggled for game time at Goodison Park, especially after then-manager Lampard had signed him on a deal that could – but probably now won’t – rise to £40million.
He said as cited by Sports Central: ‘With him [Alli], he will say it himself, he isn’t a training player. Unless it’s a match in training and then you see Dele perform,’ the Everton star told the FilthyFellas podcast. ‘When it comes to training matches, he is a joke. When it comes to drills – he tries, but because he’s slow with it. When it comes to games, he will score and assist or something. 'It was hard for him to play. If you’re not just doing it in training, and at the time, the manager needed reliable players. ‘He [Lampard] couldn’t really put his trust in him. We all know Dele could have performed.’
Everton could really have done with a prime Alli in their squad, with the Toffees, now managed by Sean Dyche, heading into the final day of the season with relegation still a very real possibility.
Victory over Bournemouth on Sunday will seal their survival but failing that they will need to pray that both Leicester and Leeds do not pick up three points either.
Regardless of where they’ll be playing next season, it is unlikely that Everton will retain Alli beyond the summer though where his future lies is anyone’s guess at the moment..