Sean Dyche admits Dele Alli still 'miles away' from returning to Everton fold

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Sean Dyche admits Dele Alli still
Sean Dyche admits Dele Alli still 'miles away' from returning to Everton fold

Sean Dyche has conceded that Dele Alli is "miles away" from a return to the first-team fold at Everton.

The 27-year-old moved to Goodison Park from Spurs in January 2022 in a bid to a revive a career that had previously seen him star for England in the 2018 World Cup in Russia, but failed to impress then manager Frank Lampard. He duly joined Besiktas on loan last season, but returned to Merseyside early after a spell plagued by form and fitness struggles.

And in an emotional interview with Gary Neville on The Overlap last month, the midfielder admitted to personal problems, and spending six weeks at a rehab facility in the United States. But Alli also vowed to rediscover the form that once saw him rated as one of the Premier League's star performers.

That opportunity won't come at the start of the 2023/24 campaign though, with Everton boss Dyche confirming the hip injury that curtailed his time in Turkey was still an issue. “He is still not over his injury yet. He is well in himself but he is not over his injury," Dyche told The Times. “We are miles away from that (thinking about his place in the squad), he is just getting himself right again.

“He is feeling good and now we will be working with him, on top of that, to make sure the injury is right. But it is still going to be a bit of time yet.”

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Sean Dyche admits Dele Alli still 'miles away' from returning to Everton foldDele Alli is still struggling with a hip injury (Getty Images)

HAVE YOUR SAY! Can Dele Alli recapture his best form? Comment below.

Alli has received plenty of public support since bravely facing up to his demons with Neville. Former manager Mauricio Pochettino, largely credited for getting the best out of the player when in charge at Spurs, admitted he found the interview with Neville "painful" to watch."

"He knows how we [Pochettino and his staff] love him, how important he is for us as a person," he said. "Like a player, he was amazing but like a person he has a big, big heart. And of course, we are in contact."

Alli has thus far managed just 13 Premier League appearances for Everton, and is yet to score for the Toffees. But with Dyche's work in the transfer market having been restricted this summer, he's reportedly keen to give the MK Dons product a chance to fight for his place.

Fraser Watson

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