February 20, 2024

Dyche has said of his interactions with former Tottenham star Dele: “I don’t think he would mind me sharing that there probably was a period when (his career) was drifting for him.

He had a lot going on. Once that came out, it has allowed him the chance to focus on his football and he has been very involved in terms of absorbing.

He can’t get out on the grass with us yet but he is looking at it and he is absorbing what the input from myself and the staff has been. He is clear minded now.

It was very difficult what he was going through, of course. We know that. But he is very willing to share, give an opinion. It’s a case of us having a coffee in the canteen. You’ll say: ‘Hey, Dele, how is it going? What are your thoughts?’ He’ll point out little things – ‘I thought that, I thought this’. It’s just a natural combination where we like players to share a view.”

The Everton boss added: “It’s a nice knock-on effect that you can share something with the group. You can say: ‘I was chatting with Dele the other day and he said this really important thing’.

Dele Alli Everton

We were clear minded when we were talking about direct football – not just kicking the ball forward. He said it was very similar to when (Mauricio) Pochettino first went in at Tottenham.

He used to talk about it all the time. He seems to me to be very secure in himself. He’s more than happy to share what he is thinking. These are amazing things he’s experienced. People, sometimes, lose sight of that.”

WHAT HAPPENS NEXT?

Dele is only under contract at Goodison Park through to the summer of 2024. He will be hoping to figure for the Toffees again before hitting free agency, with a disappointing loan spell taken in at Turkish side Besiktas last season.

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