Frank Lampard hopes ‘tough love’ can get Dele Alli back on the goal trail


Frank Lampard has said support and “tough love” can help reignite Dele Alli’s career and provide Everton with the goal threat they urgently require.

Everton will start the new Premier League season against Chelsea without an established striker after Dominic Calvert-Lewin was ruled out for six weeks with a knee injury and Richarlison was sold to Tottenham. A replacement for the Brazil international, along with two midfielders, remains on Lampard’s wish-list for this transfer window. There is also interest in the Wolves defender Conor Coady.

Alli has started once since his January move from Spurs, who will receive £10m when the 26-year-old makes 20 appearances for Everton, but has featured more prominently and in an advanced role during pre-season. Lampard admits the England international could be an option in attack this season.

The Everton manager said: “It is possible to work with him on being a goalscorer. He has an instinct to get in goalscoring positions, and we need to find ways to get him in those positions and probably give him confidence back as well. That’s the reason I brought him to the club.

“We all knew the position [at Spurs]. At the same time, we also knew if we could get him in the sweet spot of where he was then he would be a big asset for us. It’s a clean slate on many levels for everybody this season and for Dele for sure. He’s worked hard in pre-season and he’ll be a very useful player for us if he keeps applying himself in the right way.”

Alli’s goal record has plummeted in recent seasons with the playmaker, who hit double figures in three consecutive seasons for Spurs, scoring just five times in total and only once in the Premier League over the past two seasons. His last two league goals were penalties and he has not scored from open play in the league since January 2020.

“I think it’s sometimes support and sometimes tough love,” said Lampard on how to revive Alli’s form. “Sometimes you have to hear serious things to get the best out of yourself. Dele or any player that is.

“If I didn’t know the player and I heard those numbers – 23 goals, 15 goals, then three goals and two goals, I would think: ‘We’ve got to find a solution to that.’ There must be something there which can be physical, or mental, and I think it’s important he has a support mechanism not just from me but from himself, the people around him, my staff and his teammates.”