Marcel Brands could land Carlo Ancelotti his very own version of Jesse Lingard by signing Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Dele Alli for Everton this summer.
Goodison Park has been touted as a potential destination for Alli to thrive in future seasons by former Premier League striker Dean Windass, who has been speaking exclusively with the Transfer Tavern.
Windass believes that a move to Merseyside or Aston Villa would allow Alli to hit the ground running as a big fish in a small pond, after falling to the wayside under Jose Mourinho in the “big” setting of north London.
Should Everton sign Tottenham’s Alli?
Yes, he’s a special talent
No, he isn’t good enough
Alli has only featured nine times in the top-flight this term and started just two of his appearances to date, while watching each of his side’s last three fixtures from the bench.
Yet, despite his lack of game time and Mourinho wanting him gone, Spurs Chairman Daniel Levy blocked Alli from reuniting with Mauricio Pochettino at Paris Saint-Germain in January after failing to land a replacement.
Recent reports by Football Insider have claimed that Mourinho is likely to again look at offloading Alli come the end of the season, though, and Windass feels Everton would make a suitable destination.
“I think Everton or Aston Villa, one of those teams where he then becomes a big fish in a small pond again. At the minute, he’s a small fish in a big pond,” the ex-Hull City striker told TT.
“The kid needs to be playing to get back into the England squad. Gareth [Southgate] will be on the phone saying: ‘I think you’re a great player, but you need to be playing your club football.’”
It remains to be seen if Everton have any interest in signing Alli come the summer, but Brands pursuing the England international as an option to strengthen Ancelotti’s squad could see the Toffees’ Director of Football land the Italian his Lingard-esque playmaker.
The Goodison Park natives were linked with Alli prior to the mid-season transfer window, when Levy was claimed to have denied the midfielder a move away from Tottenham as PSG refused to pay £3m for a temporary deal.
That price may be considered acceptable by the Everton hierarchy, as the 25-year-old is still yet to enter his prime years but has 37 caps for England to his name along with 50 goals and 36 assists in 165 career Premier League appearances to date.
A change of setting for the player former Spurs midfielder Darren Anderton once dubbed “a freak of a talent” could see Alli rediscover his lost form in a similar way to how Lingard has since joining West Ham on loan from Manchester United in January.
Lingard had only played three times under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer this season – each in the domestic cups – before moving to the London Stadium, where he has since been described as “a big fish in a smaller pond” by Danny Mills.
Southgate also recalled Lingard to the England squad for the first time in two years after seeing him thrive in claret and blue, with the 28-year-old involved in more Premier League goals (11 – eight scored, three assisted) than any player since his Irons debut on February 3rd.
Life away from an established top-six club has clearly done Lingard the world of good and could be what Alli needs to remain a player considered among the world’s best.