Dele Alli said he was “kicking himself” after missing a glaring opportunity last week, but he scored twice against Blackpool on Sunday amid talk he could be sold.
Frank Lampard’s men were defeated 4-0 at the hands of MLS side Minnesota United in the early hours of Thursday morning. Alli somehow missed from just a few yards out as Adrian Heath’s men handed a strong Everton side a beating.
But Lampard’s men bounced back with an emphatic 4-2 win at Bloomfield Road with goals from Alli, Vitalii Mykolenko and Tom Davies.
Alli’s double came just hours after a report in The Sun claimed Everton are looking to offload the former Spurs man.
The paper claim that Everton are looking to sell Alli just six months after signing him from Tottenham. The former England midfielder moved to Goodison to try and revive his career.
The deal could cost as much as £40m, but the transfer was structured to depend on performances.
Everton had been due to pay Spurs £10m if the 26-year-old made 20 appearances. But he managed only 11 games after signing for Everton in January.
And now the Toffees are “ready to cut their losses” before any potential add-ons are accumulated.
Speaking after the win over the Championship side, Alli referred to the miss in the US.
“I was kicking myself after the opportunity I had in the other game,” said Alli. “It was a chance I should have taken and today was a chance to put that right.
Lampard: Dele Alli ‘worked hard’
“I got two goals so I’m happy. Overall, it was a good team performance and times like this, that’s what we’re looking for. It’s not about individual moments. It’s about how we’re improving, how we’re building as a team. I think today was a step in the right direction, but we need to keep going now.”
Whether Alli’s performance against Blackpool will persuade Everton to make the £10m down payment remains to be seen.
And he was happy with the midfielder after his display by the sea.
“Really nice,” said Lampard when asked about Alli’s goals. “Pre-season gives me a chance to give him games. I know he didn’t get the chance to get as many as he would want [last term].
“You have to earn the right, and you have to earn it with your performance, and I think the goals were great for his confidence. He’s the same as I tell all of the team – there’s improvement for every individual and us collectively.
“But it’s great for him to get those goals because it’s something he’s had as a talent and a skill in his career. If he keeps working, as he has that natural talent, those things come off…. I thought he worked hard today.”