Dele Alli’s future remains unclear with Frank Lampard admitting he has told the midfielder exactly where he stands at Everton.
Alli joined Everton on a two-and-a-half-year deal in January from Tottenham. His career was stalling at Spurs and Lampard pushed to get a deal over the line for the former England man just hours after his own appointment.
The potential transfer fee could hit £40m based on performance-related add-ons. But the 26-year-old is yet to make a start for the Toffees.
The former MK Dons man has made nine sub appearances, but he is yet to score or make an assist. And he has played just one minute in the last three games, which have heralded seven points.
Asked if he had talked to Alli about his predicament and the future, Lampard said: “I have had those discussions with him. He’ll be very clear as to where I am and at the moment I’m much more concerned about the collective, getting over the line as a group.
“If Dele plays his part in these three games then great. He’s come on at times and done good things for us. It’s an area of the squad where we have other players that have been playing, that’s just the reality of the situation.
“He needs to just keep training hard and stay really well focused and fight for the opportunity.”
Everton have yet to pay anything for Alli. The first payment of £10m is due once Alli has played 20 first-team games. But as it stands, that mark won’t be reached until next season – if it happens at all.
Brentford a ‘really good team’
The club are considering severing ties prematurely and Lampard’s latest comments suggest that could well be the case.
Meanwhile, Lampard knows his side could secure their place in the Premier League for next season with victory over Brentford on Sunday.
Thomas Frank’s side are already assured of their place in the top flight next season after a brilliant campaign.
“Just a really good team,” he said. “Full credit to them, the way that they play, they change style occasionally and they give you different threats. They’re a hard team to analyse because of the flexibility they have in the team, which shows that they’ve got a very good coach and they deserve their status.
“They’ve worked hard for it and they’ve been on particularly good form in recent weeks. It’s going to be a big challenge for us.”
Lampard ‘happy’ with Everton
Lampard’s men looked in deep trouble before the crucial wins over Chelsea and Leicester. They have though made the most of their games in hand to leave Leeds and Burnley deep in trouble.
“When our games kept getting put back toward the end of the season it was a double-edged sword,” said Lampard. “You look at it and go, ‘OK, there are games where we can get momentum’, but at the same time the table starts to look a bit skewed because we’re minus two games to everyone else around us.
“That can affect confidence or the feeling around the place. The good thing is we’ve picked points up at the right time to get ourselves the feeling of being out of the danger area as such but we are still in the danger area so it’s important we just focus on the games.
“Two home games at Goodison. We’re happy with that of course because that’s where we do feel strong. But we absolutely respect the opponents in both games.”