Dele Alli could have swapped the Premier League for a surprising destination following the latest admission from a club president.
Dele, 25, was gunning for a Tottenham exit in the recent transfer window after failing to impress manager Antonio Conte. Newcastle were monitoring his situation, but it was Everton who secured his signature shortly after deadline day.
He has penned a two-and-a-half-year contract with the Toffees and joins in a deal which could rise to £40million.
A big attraction for Dele was the ability to play under Everton manager Frank Lampard, who was announced as Rafa Benitez’s replacement on January 31.
“He is an amazing manager and an amazing person as well,” Dele said of Lampard, during an interview with Everton TV.
“Speaking to him and admiring him so much as a player, and what he’s done so far as a manager – I think it’s amazing.
“He knows me very well as a player and I know the tactics he likes and how he likes to play, and how he likes his teams to work. So, I feel like it’s a perfect match and I can’t wait to get going.
“Being an attacking midfielder and, obviously, he scored a lot of goals as well as a midfielder – I’ll speak to him a lot about that and what he did as a player to make the most of his talent.”
Dele Alli could have left England
But it could have been far different for the Englishman if Lampard had not moved to Goodison Park.
The president of Turkish club Adana Demirspor, Murat Sancak, has opened up on talks between his team and Spurs.
“We made a deal with Tottenham for Dele Alli,” he said on Instagram (via Goal). “He would come on loan. Even his older brother came to Turkey. The transfer was almost over.
“But just then, Frank Lampard became Everton’s new coach and the transfer didn’t happen.”
Dele made 269 appearances for Spurs after joining from MK Dons, and went on to score 67 goals. His best season came in 2016-17 when he found the net 18 times to help Spurs finish second in the league.
The attacking midfielder will have to wait until next week to make his Everton debut as he is cup tied for Saturday’s match against Brentford.
Lo Celso opens up on Tottenham exit
Meanwhile, midfielder Giovani Lo Celso has admitted he made his decision to leave Spurs on loan for Villarreal in January quickly.
“This [Villarreal] is a club that looks very serious and orderly, that football-wise I really like what I see,” he told Sport.
“I like its philosophy and its idea of the game, to which is added that I already knew the coach. So I put everything on the scale and made up my mind very quickly.”
While that is an endorsement of Villarreal, the decision to leave Spurs quickly does not reflect well on the club.
Especially not as Lo Celso was one of four players to depart in January.
“My idea is to give my best in every game, and we’ll see what the future holds. I want to enjoy this and my new teammates during this period. I want to do my best,” Lo Celso added.