EPL

Alli made the right call swapping Tottenham for Everton, says Woodgate

By Sports Desk February 02, 2022

Dele Alli made the right decision to leave Tottenham for Everton and can return to his very best at Goodison Park, according to former Spurs defender Jonathan Woodgate.

Alli's seven-year spell at Tottenham came to an end on Monday, leaving for Merseyside in what is said to be an initial free transfer.

Everton will reportedly be obliged to pay £10million for the midfielder after he makes 20 appearances, with subsequent performance-based add-ons that may take the eventual figure as high as £40m.

After signing for Spurs in January 2015, but initially staying at MK Dons on loan, Alli swiftly became a key player under Mauricio Pochettino.

He has failed to maintain that form in recent seasons, though, and Woodgate, who played for Tottenham between 2008 and 2011, believes Alli can return to the peak of his powers under new Toffees boss Frank Lampard.

"I think he needed to get out of Spurs, to be honest with you," Woodgate exclusively told Stats Perform. "I think in the Pochettino era, he was one of the best players in the Premier League. He was in the England squad regularly and sometimes it's just that manager that really believes in you and gives you that confidence to play well.

"I mean, you don't turn into a bad player overnight. Dele Alli will be good again at Everton, no doubt about that, and with the right manager it'll give him more confidence and put him on a platform to put him in the right position for him to go and do what we know he can do.

"Because at Tottenham, he was scoring goals for fun, he was running forward, he was assisting, he moved a bit like a Rolls Royce-type player. He always had time on the ball, but something hasn't gone right from the last few managers. [Jose] Mourinho, [Antonio] Conte and [Nuno Espirito] Santo. In the Pochettino era, he was absolutely outstanding."

Woodgate also weighed in on Harry Kane's failed move to Manchester City in the early weeks of the season, saying he understood the striker's stance.

Having expressed his desire to leave Spurs at the end of last season, the England captain was strongly linked with a record-breaking transfer to the Premier League champions during the transfer window.

But despite City boss Pep Guardiola publicly stating his interest in Kane, a move failed to materialise with Spurs refusing to negotiate.

Kane was heavily criticised by supporters for his position, but Woodgate believes it is only natural he would look elsewhere to get his hands on some silverware.

"I think everyone was surprised at the time," he added. "I think everyone really was because no one envisaged him coming out in the middle of the season saying that he wanted to really leave and go and move on.

"I can see his point because he wants to win the Premier League. Who wouldn't want to win the Premier League? Is he going to do that with Spurs? Not at the minute because they haven't got that calibre of player.

"They've got the right manager in but they need more players like Kane and like Son [Heung-min] to really have a go at the league. But they've got some progression to do. We've got to climb huge steps to get anywhere near the likes of Liverpool and Manchester City at the minute."

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