Tottenham Hotspur’s decision to sell Dele Alli to Everton during the January transfer window is looking more and more like a masterclass by the week.
Once an emerging superstar in the Premier League, the former MK Dons gem was widely touted to become the next Frank Lampard – his new manager – or Steven Gerrard but over the last few years, poor performances and a frequent change in managers has seen his career falter.
Still, though, at just 25 years of age, there is plenty of time for him to get back to being his best, so the decision to axe him permanently, rather than on a temporary basis was a bold call from chairman Daniel Levy and sporting director Fabio Paratici.
But nearly two months on, it’s proving to be the right call and one that could see Spurs hit the jackpot.
Indeed, as per Sky Sports, the north London outfit are set to net a lucrative £40m should the new Toffees maestro hit certain performance-related add-ons.
He left Hotspur Way after seven years, having originally joined from the EFL outfit for just £5m back in early February 2015. That’s a return on their investment of 700%, which is pretty remarkable given the form Alli’s been in over the past 18 to 24 months.
During the 2016/17 campaign, the Englishman hit a whopping 18 goals and seven assists in 35 Premier League starts but since September 2019, he’s found the net only nine times and provided just the five assists, as per WhoScored.
By May 2017, Alli was earning rave reviews from many across the country, including a particularly glowing endorsement from Spurs legend Darren Anderton, who said (via Goal.com):
“I’ve got to say that I loved Stevie G as a player and Scholesy but Dele Alli for his age is just a freak of a talent.
“I love his arrogance on the pitch, how clever he is in finding the positions that he does and his willingness to try everything.
“He is a real joy to watch.”
It’s been a very long time since the 37-time England international hit those levels and that’s backed up by the fact that he’s not featured for Gareth Southgate’s side in nearly three years now.
His time at Goodison Park has been pretty frustrating already as he’s been restricted to only 169 minutes of action, with fellow January arrival Donny van de Beek seemingly ahead of him in the pecking order.
27 of those minutes came during a cameo against Spurs a couple of weeks ago but seeing a £40m man on the bench only displays just how good a deal Spurs landed in offloading him this year.
Even more so with Transfermarkt currently valuing him at £22.5m.
Arguably, Tottenham struck gold in their bold decision to sell Alli permanently and as the season rumbles on, it’s looking like one fantastic call indeed.