Carlo Ancelotti has confirmed that Allan has returned to training following a hamstring injury, which may leave Andre Gomes facing a fight for his position at Everton.
The Blues have been without Allan for their past seven Premier League fixtures after seeing the Brazilian forced off after 40 minutes during a 2-0 win over Leicester City in December.
Allan had opened 12 of Everton’s 13 top-flight matches following a £21m summer transfer from Serie A side SSC Napoli before the blow, having only sat out October’s 4-2 win at home to Brighton and Hove Albion due to a groin strain.
Ancelotti said ahead of the clash against Manchester United on Saturday, that “he started training with the team today [Friday]”. And with the Brazilian having been out of action recently, the Toffees boss has had to turn to Andre Gomes to be his man in the engine room.
Ancelotti even lauded the £18m-rated gem as his Man of the Match for his performance against Leeds, noting: “In my opinion, tonight, the best player on the pitch was Andre Gomes. He played technically, physically, tactically a fantastic game. This is the real Andre Gomes. The real Andre Gomes that we need.”
But for how much longer fans will see that Gomes on the field remains to be seen with Allan seemingly nearing a return to action, as the Brazilian should walk straight back into the starting line-up once fully fit to again anchor the side.
Despite missing the best part of the past two months through injury, Allan continues to boast the highest number of successful tackles (41) and ground duels won (79) in the Premier League among Everton’s midfield options. Doucoure is second for times taking possession (34) while Alex Iwobi is second for ground duels won (58), per SofaScore.
Allan is also level in first with Doucoure for shots blocked (6) and Gomes for accurate long passes (29), while boasting twice as many successful dribbles (20) as Gylfi Sigurdsson who has only taken possession up the field nine times in the top-flight to date this term.
Ancelotti will likely have to decide between benching Gomes or Sigurdsson to free space for Allan to return, thus must see his £112,000-per-week former FC Barcelona ace prove to be more creative than the Iceland international if Gomes is to retain his place.
While Sigurdsson only trails James Rodriguez at Everton for chances created in the Premier League this season with 23 key passes to the Colombian’s 29, Gomes has only carved out seven goal scoring opportunities of which zero were clear-cut chances.
Gomes proved against Leeds that he can do everything else needed in the engine room, but only adding a creative edge will ensure he sits ahead of Sigurdsson in the pecking order once Allan is back available for selection.
He stands to face a real fight for his place at Goodison Park when the club’s Brazilian lynch-pin makes his return to the pitch.