Carlo Ancelotti must start Allan when Everton visit Brighton & Hove Albion on Monday night in order to take control of the midfield battle.
Ancelotti could be short of options on the south coast after losing Andre Gomes to a hamstring issue against the Eagles, leaving Tom Davies and Jean-Philippe Gbamin potentially as his only fit holding midfielders.
Everton’s medical team will carry out late checks to see if Allan can make his return against Brighton, where the Goodison Park natives will be without Abdoulaye Doucoure (foot) and Fabian Delph (tendon).
“For sure, Andre Gomes, who started to train individually today [Friday], will not be able to play on Monday,” Ancelotti said. “He will be able to play in the next game against Tottenham.
“We are checking on Allan. He trained normally this morning. We have to wait and see how it goes and if he will be available.”
Ancelotti will hope that Allan is passed fit and can join Davies in protecting Everton’s backline against Brighton, as the Seagulls will have been encouraged by how Crystal Palace were able to take a point last time out.
Everton had to be more attacking with their line-up after losing Gomes in the first half as Gylfi Sigurdsson came on to replace the Portuguese, and the later introduction of Gbamin failed to add the defensive resilience needed.
Crystal Palace applied heaps of pressure in the closing stages and were able to strike a late equaliser through Michy Batshuayi to leave Merseyside with a draw, but could have scored beforehand had it not been for Robin Olsen.
The AS Roma loanee was called on to deny Eberechi Eze, Wilfried Zaha and Jordan Ayew in quick succession before Batshuayi found the net, which will have given Brighton a sense of confidence that they too can take a result in Monday’s clash.
Ancelotti could prevent Graham Potter’s side replicating Crystal Palace’s methods by starting Allan if the Brazilian is passed fit, as the £21m summer signing from Serie A side Napoli – who Noel Whelan calls “incredible” – can get Everton on the ball and playing on the front foot.
The only game that Allan did not start following his return to action last month came away to West Bromwich Albion, when he was introduced with half an hour still to play to help the Blues gain control of the game.
“Allan coming on was probably about getting on the ball and getting us playing, sit in there and dictate us going forward – and then probably me to create or score a goal because it was 0-0,” said Sigurdsson after the game, via quotes shared by the Liverpool Echo.
Everton will need a result against Brighton to preserve their hopes of qualifying for the Champions League, and they will likely need Allan performing like he has done previously if Ancelotti’s side are to dictate the midfield battle on Monday.