Everton forward Dele Alli admits he was “overwhelmed” by the response to his emotional interview in which he confronted mental health issues relating to his troubled childhood.

Last summer the 28-year-old revealed he had been sexually abused as a six-year-old and fell into selling drugs aged just eight, leading to psychological problems later in life. He also opened up about a sleeping pill addiction which led to a stay at a rehab clinic.

“When I did the interview I said if I helped one person that’s all I needed,” Alli, speaking publicly for the first time since that interview, told Monday Night Football on Sky Sports.

“I had to do it for my own reasons, but if it helped one person that is all I wanted from it and the reaction and support I got was definitely overwhelming.

“But it was amazing to see how many people it did help and I’m definitely very proud of it.”

Alli said going public with his problems was part of a process that has enabled him to learn important lessons about himself, which have in turn helped him through a testing period of injury.

He has not played since a loan spell at Besiktas was cut short in February last year due to a hip problem and a groin issue has delayed his return to the Everton squad.

“When I did the interview I said it was the best I had felt at that time, coming out of rehab and getting back ready for playing,” he added.

“I’ve had to learn what patience is and it’s been a long journey with the injury, a lot of ups and downs, but it is something I’ve had to learn.


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“If you had asked me before, injuries would have been right at the top of my list to mentally overcome. Before this injury the longest one was eight weeks, which felt like forever.

“If I hadn’t gone through that process in the summer it would have been so difficult for me to go through this for over a year now.

“It is just an injury and hopefully one I’m getting to the end of. The pain of the injury is something I can really channel and help motivate me.

“I really had to learn what patience is, but it has made me hungrier to get back in.”

Son Heung-min says Dele Alli will always be part of the family and hopes his former Tottenham team-mate will not “have tough times anymore” as he looks to kick-start his career.

Things have gone awry for the 27-year-old since he helped Spurs reach the 2019 Champions League final, with the England international failing to make an impact at Everton after moving there in January 2022.

Alli recently revealed he had considered hanging up his boots in an emotional interview that saw him talk about how he was “molested” as a six-year-old and dealing drugs aged eight.

The attacking midfielder also spoke about alcohol problems, sleeping-pill addiction and addressing his mental-health issues by spending six weeks in a rehab clinic – situations he kept away from many of his nearest and dearest.

The football world has thrown its support behind Alli and he was warmly greeted at Tottenham on Saturday as he watched their 2-0 win against Manchester United, where the former Spur caught up with many of his former team-mates afterwards.

“Dele was always close, as a friend with me,” the recently appointed Tottenham skipper said.

“It was a really tough moment for him and obviously I’m always there to support him because he’s one of my closest friends.

“Christian (Eriksen), as well today. Yeah, it’s just old team-mates but I think this relationship (with Dele) is very special.

“He helped me a lot settling down in the UK when I was struggling. He was helping me a lot and is still a good friend of mine.

“It’s always good to see him and any time if he needs anything, any second, I will be always there for him. I don’t want him to have tough times anymore.”

Put to Son that it would be great if Alli could get his career back on track, he said: “We will always support him.

“Obviously it’s up to him now because he has to recover well, get fit and play well because his quality is not in doubt because he has been showing in the Premier League what he can do.

“Look, I’m always supporting him, like a member of family.”

A leading sleep expert says use of sleeping tablets is “rife” in football following Dele Alli’s revelation of addiction and has called for more education in the game.

Alli laid bare his struggles in an emotional interview with Gary Neville, where he also spoke of suffering sexual abuse as a child and revealed he had undergone a stint in rehab to battle his problems.

The Everton midfielder is the latest player to suggest it is a common problem in the game after former Football League defender Ryan Cresswell opened up on his troubles to the PA news agency last year, saying it was a “big issue” among his peers.


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Sleep expert James Wilson, who has worked at West Ham, Rotherham and Lincoln, agrees it is a concern but said the pills are counter-productive for good sleep.

“You hear stories from players and members of staff that say, ‘You should go and work with this club because every single first-team player is taking sleeping pills every single night’,” he told PA.

“They are not generally good for your sleep and they are not good for recovery so that is why they are not a good idea in football. The fact they are addictive is the cherry on the cake in saying why we should not be using sleeping pills, especially as a first line of defence.

“In society in general we don’t understand the use of sleeping pills. The use is more rife in football because the job itself contributes to poor sleep, the night after a midweek game in particular footballers find it harder to sleep.

“There are two issues, one is which Dele has highlighted is that they can be addictive, depending on what type of pill it is.

“But also the sleeping tablet doesn’t give you sleep, it knocks you out. Sleeping pills impact on REM sleep and that is the stage where you go through an overnight counselling session, where your brain files the information from the day before.

“Without that REM sleep, the sleeping pill without him knowing will have contributed to him not being able deal with his mental health issues he was living with.”

Wilson attributes no blame to club doctors for prescribing sleeping pills, citing a lack of training, and says more education and a cultural change is needed across football.

“It is about education, we need to be educating players younger about sleep and we need to support players around their mental health,” he said.

“Often poor sleep can be caused by things going on in the players’ lives and I think within men’s football in particular we are not great at supporting men’s feelings. There needs to be more done there.

“There needs to be better-trained staff. It is more about nutrionisits, physios, or sports therapists having a better understanding of sleep so they can advise better.

“There also needs to be a cultural change. If senior and successful players are taking them then younger players look up to them and it becomes a myth.

“It is a better education, it is a better access to good sleep alternatives and that is for both players and staff.

“The problem in football is that we approach sleep like we approach training: the harder I try the better I get. If I put X, Y, Z in, I’ll get X, Y, Z out but sleep is not like that.

“It is about being in the right physiological state, dropping the heart rate, dropping core temperature. It is about being emotionally and physically secure. Natures of the job cannot create that. The more we accept that, the better our sleep will be.”

The Prince of Wales has praised the “brave and inspirational” Dele Alli for speaking out about his mental health struggles after he revealed he was sexually abused as a child.

In an emotional interview, Alli told how he was “molested” as a six-year-old and was dealing drugs aged eight, while he also spoke about alcohol problems, sleeping pill addiction and addressing his mental health issues by spending six weeks in a rehab clinic.

The 27-year-old said he had contemplated hanging up his boots three years ago before leaving Tottenham for Everton in 2022, prompting an outpouring of support with Prince William, the NSPCC and England captain Harry Kane among those to applaud him.

In a personal tweet, William wrote: “Brave and inspirational @dele_official. Discussing mental health is not a sign of weakness. Let’s keep the conversation going.

“We’re all with you and we wish you the very best. W.”

The NSPCC praised Alli’s courage and voiced the hope that his bravery would encourage others in a similar position to seek help.

A spokesperson said: “Dele Alli has shown great courage in revealing the abuse he suffered in his childhood. Speaking out on sexual abuse whenever it happened can be very daunting with survivors sometimes feeling guilt, shame or confusion.

“The impact of child sexual abuse can be devastating, and can continue into adulthood. It’s crucial that the safety and protection of all children remains a clear priority for all those in positions of authority.

“We hope that Dele Alli is receiving the support he needs and that his bravery in speaking out will encourage others who are in a similar position to do the same and will reassure them that they are not alone and there are people here to support them.”

Alli made just 13 appearances for Everton before joining Besiktas on loan last season, but is now back at Goodison Park.

Alli spoke out in an interview with Gary Neville on a special edition of The Overlap podcast in partnership with Sky Bet, which was released on Thursday morning.

“The club has been supporting Dele in both his return to fitness and overcoming the personal challenges highlighted in his interview with The Overlap,” an Everton spokesperson said.

“Everyone at Everton respects and applauds Dele’s bravery to speak about the difficulties he has faced, as well as seek the help required.

“The physical and mental welfare of all our players is of paramount importance.

“The club takes very seriously its responsibility in protecting the confidentiality of players and staff.

“Dele will not be conducting any further interviews in relation to his rehabilitation, and we ask that his privacy is respected while he continues his recuperation from injury and receives the full care and support needed for his physical and mental well-being.”

England skipper Kane, a former team-mate of Alli’s at Spurs, retweeted a clip from the interview, posting: “Proud of @dele_official for speaking out and sharing his experience to try and help others.”

Gary Lineker tweeted: “This is very powerful and brave. Good luck to you @dele_official.”

The Professional Footballers’ Association also issued a statement on Twitter in response to Alli’s interview.

“It’s incredibly brave of Dele to tell his story with such honesty in this important interview with @GNev2 (Neville),” the PFA said.

“Hearing Dele speak with such openness will make a difference, and his desire to use his own experiences to act as an inspiration to others – inside and outside of football – is something he should be extremely proud of.”

Anti-discrimination organisation Kick It Out added: “What a powerful and incredibly brave interview. To open up and share his story in the hope of helping others is humbling and inspiring.

“It also shows that sometimes you just don’t know what’s going on in someone’s life. #BeKind”

Sports stars and clubs across the world continue to provide an insight into their lives on social media.

Here, the PA news agency looks at some of the best examples from July 13.


Dele Alli spoke about his troubles – and received plenty of support.


Harry Kane worked hard in the gym.

Life’s a beach for Zlatan.

Jose Mourinho and his team were hard at it.



Scott McTominay was also switching sport.

Liverpool have a new number nine.



Worth another look!


Tyson Fury made a promise to Francis Ngannou.



Two-time Taekwondo gold medal winner Jade Jones pulled off a successful landing.


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Preparation is everything for Billy Horschel.

Players have been urged to come forward for support from the Professional Footballers’ Association if they feel they are developing an addiction to sleeping tablets.

Everton midfielder Dele Alli said in an interview released on Thursday with The Overlap podcast that he had developed a “scary” addiction to sleeping pills, adding: “It’s probably a problem that not only I have, I think it’s something that’s going around more than people realise in football.”

Dr Michael Bennett, the director of player well-being at the PFA, said the union “regularly supports” members who have developed addictive behaviours or dependencies – including reliance on medication such as painkillers and sleeping tablets.

“Sleeping tablet use is an issue we are aware of and one we monitor and report back on in our work with the football authorities,” Dr Bennett said.

“We know there are many reasons why a player may begin to use sleeping tablets. It is common for players to struggle to sleep after night games as they find that it often takes time, both mentally and physically, to ‘come down’.

“Other common issues, such as frequent international travel, particularly across time zones, can severely disrupt players’ sleep patterns. Players may also simply be struggling with sleep due to personal issues such as stress, and might be concerned that it is damaging their rest and recovery.

“Even administered in small doses, prescription medications can be habit-forming. If players are using sleeping tablets or any other prescription medication and are concerned that they may have developed a dependency, we encourage them to speak confidentially with the PFA and access the support we offer. Help is available.”

Former Rotherham player Ryan Cresswell said in an interview last year he had developed an addiction to painkillers and sleeping tablets.

He told ITV: “Plain and simple, if I had carried on doing what I was doing, I would have been dead. I didn’t want to die. I just didn’t know how to live.

“I told the doctor and he said ‘Ryan you should be dead’. The sleeping tablets and the painkillers – I was just numb. I eventually got help. I don’t want anyone to go through what I went through.”

Dele Alli has revealed he was sexually abused at the age of six and was dealing drugs two years later – while a recent fight against a sleeping pill addiction led to a six-week stay at a rehab clinic.

The Everton midfielder has seen his football career stall in recent seasons but has now spoken on the reasons behind a mental health battle that saw him contemplate hanging up his boots at the age of 24.

In an emotional interview, the England international fought back tears as he laid bare his difficult upbringing before he was adopted by the Hickford family – saying he was “molested” at the age of six.

Speaking to Gary Neville on The Overlap podcast in partnership with Sky Bet, Alli said: “(Childhood) is something I haven’t really spoken about that much, to be honest.

“My mum was an alcoholic. I was sent to Africa (to stay with his father) to learn discipline, and then I was sent back. At seven, I started smoking, eight I started dealing drugs.

“Eleven, I was hung off a bridge by a guy from the next estate. Twelve, I was adopted – and from then, I was adopted by an amazing family – I couldn’t have asked for better people to do what they’d done for me. If God created people, it was them.

“There were a number of times my adopted family and my brother – you know, it makes me sad – they would take me to rooms crying, asking me to just speak to them, tell them what I’m thinking, how I’m feeling, and I just couldn’t do it because I wanted to deal with it by myself.”

After signing for Tottenham from MK Dons, Alli enjoyed a fine run of form that culminated in playing a key role in England’s progress to the World Cup semi-finals in 2018.

But Alli was still battling in silence off the pitch – leading to a “scary” addiction to sleeping pills and a reliance on alcohol.

“I got addicted to sleeping tablets and it’s probably a problem that not only I have, I think it’s something that’s going around more than people realise in football,” he said.

“I think, without me realising it – the things I was doing to numb the feelings I had…I didn’t realise I was doing it for that purpose, whether it be drinking or whatever.

“I don’t want to talk about numbers but it was definitely way too much, and there were some scary moments I had.

“To take a sleeping tablet and be ready for the next day is fine, but when you’re broken as I am, it can obviously have the reverse effect because it does work for the problems you want to deal with.

“That is the problem – it works until it doesn’t. So yes, I definitely abused them too much. It is scary, now I’m out of it and I look back on it.

“Probably the saddest moment for me, was when (Jose) Mourinho was (Tottenham) manager, I think I was 24. I remember there was one session, like one morning I woke up and I had to go to training – this is when he’d stopped playing me – and I was in a bad place.

“I mean it sounds dramatic but I was literally staring in the mirror – and I was asking if I could retire now, at 24, doing the thing I love. For me, that was heart-breaking to even have had that thought at 24, to want to retire. That hurt me a lot, that was another thing that I had to carry.”

Having left Spurs for Everton in 2022, Alli spent last season on loan at Besiktas but upon returning to England with an injury that required surgery he knew he needed help, checking into a clinic in the United States.

“When I came back from Turkey, I came in and I found out that I needed an operation and I was in a bad place mentally and I decided to go to like a modern-day rehab facility for mental health,” he said.

“I was caught in a bad cycle. I was relying on things that were doing me harm and I think I was waking up every day and I was winning the fight, you know; going into training, smiling, showing that I was happy.

“But inside, I was definitely losing the battle and it was time for me to change it because when I got injured and they told me I needed surgery, I could feel the feelings I had when the cycle begins and I didn’t want it to happen any more.

“They deal with like addiction, mental health, and trauma because it was something that I felt like it was time for.

“I think with things like that, you can’t be told to go there, I think you have to know, and you have to make the decision yourself, otherwise it’s not going to work.

“I went there for six weeks and Everton were amazing about it. They supported me 100 per cent and I’ll be grateful to them forever…I was probably making the biggest decision of my life – something I was scared to do.

“But I’m happy I’ve done it and to be honest, I couldn’t of expected it to go the way it did.”

Alli has received support online from former team-mates including Jan Vertonghen and Harry Kane.

England captain Kane tweeted: “Proud of @dele_official for speaking out and sharing his experience to try and help others.”

Dele Alli opened his Besiktas account in a 3-2 Super Lig win over Ankaragucu on Sunday, ending the former Tottenham midfielder's 13-month wait for a competitive goal.

Alli left Spurs to sign a two-and-a-half-year deal with Everton in January, but he only made one Premier League start for the Toffees before heading to Turkey on loan last month.

Having made his Besiktas bow against Sivasspor last week, Alli got on the scoresheet on his second appearance, firing Valerien Ismael's men into a 2-1 first-half lead.

The 26-year-old raced onto a knock-down from Burnley loanee Wout Weghorst to side-foot home after 35 minutes, scoring his first league goal since he converted a penalty in Tottenham's 1-0 win at Wolves in August 2021.

Alli's goal came from his first attempt in the match, while Weghorst has now recorded a league-high four assists this season – each of them for a different player (Alli, Jackson Muleka, Georges-Kevin Nkoudou and Rachid Ghezzal).

Alli scored 51 goals in 181 Premier League appearances for Spurs, although over half of that tally (28) came in his first two seasons (10 in 2015-16, 18 in 2016-17). His last open-play goal in the English top flight came in January 2020.

Jose Mourinho's words of advice to Dele Alli have been well publicised ever since the release of the Tottenham-focused All Or Nothing documentary series in 2020.

"I am 56 now and yesterday I was 20. Time flies. One day I think you will regret it if you don't reach what you can reach," the former Spurs boss told Alli, who for the first time in his rough career was, at the start of the 2019-20 season, enduring a rough patch of form.

"I am not expecting you to be the man of the match every game. I am not expecting you to score goals every game. I want just to tell you that you will regret it. You should demand more from yourself."

Less than 18 months after the documentary aired, Alli's Tottenham spell was over, moving to Everton on what was initially a free transfer at the age of 25.

Frank Lampard was confident he could reinvigorate the midfielder, whose ability to find space in the area had often drawn comparisons to the Chelsea great. Yet with Everton fighting to survive, questions over the sensibility of the transfer were raised.

Now, his stint at Goodison Park is coming to an end, at least for the season. Alli has joined Turkish club Besiktas on loan, and while a hero's welcome in Istanbul will surely have been a boost to his confidence, it is hard not to look back at Mourinho's words and think where did it all go wrong for one of England's brightest prospects?

Superstar in the making

Alli's rise was nothing short of sensational. Having signed from MK Dons, Alli made his Premier League bow for Spurs against Manchester United in August 2015. He went on to score 10 top-flight goals and provide nine assists in a remarkable breakout campaign.

His best season followed in 2016-17, when he scored 22 goals in 50 appearances across all competitions, averaging a goal every 182 minutes. He followed that up with 29 direct goal involvements (14 goals, 15 assists) in the 2017-18 campaign, and was a key player for Gareth Southgate as England went on to reach the World Cup semi-finals at Russia 2018. It is hard to see him being involved in Qatar this time around.

Given a free role behind Harry Kane in Mauricio Pochettino's side, Eriksen was able to thrive, running beyond the striker to latch onto pinpoint Christian Eriksen deliveries, or able to find pockets of space on the edge of the box to show his prowess with shots from range. He truly looked to have it all.

Hard times in north London

Spurs reached the Champions League final in 2019, but it would be fair to say even by that stage, Alli's impact had started to wane. Injuries did not help, but he managed only eight direct goal contributions in the Premier League that season and failed to score in Europe.

Pochettino's tenure came to an end in November 2019. Alli had scored twice in the league prior to Pochettino's dismissal, but had been particularly close to his coach (indeed, when Alli left Spurs, he paid tribute to the impact the Argentine had on his career).

Mourinho arrived and, while some hard truths might have been given behind the scenes, Alli looked sharp in the Portuguese's first weeks at the club. But the promising signs did not last, and prior to the coronavirus-enforced lockdown of March 2020, he was by no means a guaranteed starter.

Alli finished the elongated Premier League campaign with eight goals in 25 appearances, but in Mourinho's first full season in charge he was relegated to a benchwarmer, making just two top-tier starts before the former Manchester United and Chelsea manager was sacked in April 2021. 

Nuno Espirito Santo attempted to play Alli deep in midfield in his short-lived Spurs spell, and his last goal for the club did come under the ex-Wolves boss, from the spot in a 1-0 win at Molineux. Yet Antonio Conte started him just twice in the competition, and the writing was on the wall when he was left out of Tottenham's squad altogether for a meeting with Chelsea in January.

Goodison to Istanbul

Alli and Lampard both spoke glowingly of the transfer to Everton, sealed on the last day of the January window.

Those words did not translate into minutes for Alli, though. He came on for his Everton debut in a 3-1 loss to Newcastle United in February, and despite a promising cameo in a 3-0 defeat of Leeds United, time on the pitch was even tougher to come by as the Toffees slipped further into the relegation dogfight.

While Alli came on to play a key role in a 1-1 draw with Leicester City, it did seem as though whatever plan Lampard had for the midfielder had been cast to one side, but a game-changing performance in Everton's survival-clinching comeback win over Crystal Palace in May suggested there could be a place for him at Goodison this season, especially following Richarlison's sale to Spurs.

Even without a recognised striker fit to feature from the off in matches against Chelsea and Aston Villa, though, Lampard went with Gordon – himself set for a move to London – up front over Alli, who had deputised in an attacking role in pre-season.

Last week, reports of Besiktas' interest were confirmed by Lampard, and once again the writing was on the wall, especially with Everton wary that if Alli played 20 times (he finishes with 13 appearances, no goals or assists and only seven chances created), they would have to fork out £10million to Tottenham.

Now, it is in Turkey that Alli will attempt to revive a career that once promised so much. He joins Istanbul on loan with an option for the Istanbul club to buy. It is hard not to think he won't have Mourinho's comments running around his head.

Dele Alli has completed a loan move to Besiktas from Everton, with the Turkish club having an option to buy the England international.

The midfielder only joined the Toffees from Tottenham in January on a two-and-a-half-year deal as one of the first signings for manager Frank Lampard.

Alli made 11 appearances for Everton as they escaped from Premier League relegation last season, with only one start, and has featured twice so far in the new campaign, both times from the bench.

The 26-year-old was an unused substitute in the 1-1 draw against Nottingham Forest at Goodison Park last weekend, and will now look to get his career back on track with Besiktas.

Everton signed Alli on what was essentially a free transfer, but would have owed Spurs £10million once he had played 20 games across all competitions. That fee could have potentially risen to £40m if performance-related add-ons were met.

Everton are paying a portion of Alli's wages for the duration of his loan period in Istanbul. 

While Alli will hope to play regular football again, the move abroad likely ends any distant chances he may have had of forcing his way back into Gareth Southgate's England squad for the Qatar 2022 World Cup.

The attacking midfielder, who has not scored an open play goal in the Premier League since January 2020, was a key member of the England team that reached the semi-finals at Russia 2018, scoring in the 2-0 quarter-final win against Sweden, but was omitted from last year's squad for Euro 2020.

Manchester United are set to be busy in the final week of the transfer window and are closing in on a huge signing.

Erik ten Hag wants to bring in Antony from his former club Ajax, and the Brazil winger is keen to be reunited with his former coach.

United made a dismal start to the season by losing their opening two games, but bounced back by beating Liverpool on Monday, and are aiming to make another splash in the transfer market after signing Casemiro from Real Madrid.



Antony is attempting to force through a move to United by handing in a transfer request at Ajax.

That is according to The Mirror, while The Telegraph have claimed the 22-year-old's representatives are now basing themselves in London in order to push through a deal.

Ajax are reluctant to sell and this week turned down a £67.6million (€80m) bid from United, who are expected to up their offer. The Dutch club are said to want a fee of £84m (€100m), but Antony is trying to force their hand.


- The Athletic report that Dele Alli is on the brink of joining Besiktas on loan from Everton. The England international is in Istanbul to complete the move.

- Sky Sports Germany are claiming Chelsea will turn their focus to Bayer Leverkusen centre-back Edmond Tapsoba if they cannot sign Leicester City's Wesley Fofana.

- Newcastle United are set to break their transfer record by signing Alexander Isak from Real Sociedad for £60m (€71.1m), according to widespread reports.


- David Moyes confirmed West Ham had bid for Lucas Paqueta, but that approach has been turned down by Lyon, according to L'Equipe.

- BILD reporter Christian Falk has claimed Manchester United will decide whether or not to push ahead with a move for Eintracht Frankfurt goalkeeper Kevin Trapp on Thursday.

- According to Fabrizio Romano, Marseille are not considering a move for Cristiano Ronaldo, who may be allowed to leave Old Trafford.

- Romano also reports that Marseille forward Arkadiusz Milik is joining Juventus.

Frank Lampard offered no assurances that Anthony Gordon will remain at Everton beyond the end of the transfer window.

Gordon has been the subject of interest from Tottenham, Newcastle United and Chelsea in recent weeks.

Chelsea made their interest known last weekend, with reports emerging of a £40million bid having been rejected by Everton, who were then said to have turned down an improved, £45m offer.

With Everton having sold Richarlison to Tottenham in June, and with Dominic Calvert-Lewin injured, Gordon has been relied on to lead the line in their opening Premier League games.

Both of those have ended in defeat, to Chelsea and Aston Villa respectively, but despite the latest developments, Lampard has no concerns over Gordon's mentality ahead of what might already be a crucial meeting with Nottingham Forest.

Yet when asked if he could guarantee Gordon will remain an Everton player after the window closes on September 1, Lampard told reporters: "You can't ask me to assure anything, that'll be naive for me to assure anything. I might not even be here! Who knows. I don't want to get into hypotheticals."

Everton have so far not brought in a striker to fill in for Calvert-Lewin or effectively replace last season's leading scorer Richarlison, but Lampard hopes it will not have to be a case of choosing between keeping Gordon or raising funds for another attacker.

He said: "Anthony's our player, we're not looking at it like 'where can we go with this deal to improve us?' Anthony's a great player that we've developed, which is a big deal.

"We know his value, because we see the value of players that are moving at the minute. He's a big player for me and the team, I think about what more can we do for the team.

"He's in the squad. Any chat I had with him will remain private and as any player should do, they have to get on with their own game, train well, prepare well.

"He's our player, simple as that."

The future of Gordon's club-mate Dele Alli is also in doubt, with Everton having reportedly agreed to loan the former Tottenham star to Turkish side Besiktas.

Alli signed from Spurs on an initial free transfer in January, though Everton will have to pay £10m once the midfielder reaches 20 appearances. He has only made 13 so far, with just one of those coming as a start.

"There's interest in Dele, that's come out publicly in the last couple of days," Lampard acknowledged. "That's one for us behind the scenes to consider ourselves, and Dele has to consider that. For it to happen it'll have to be right for everybody.

"I think at the moment, people queue up to have an opinion and can get quite negative about it and I don't think that’s really fair for a young man whose talents took him onto the world stage of football and won Young Player of the Year twice, was one of the world talents at a young age. We respect that he needs to keep working and that it's his career."

Everton manager Frank Lampard has confirmed striker Dominic Calvert-Lewin will be out for up to six weeks with a knee injury.

The 25-year-old suffered the injury in training and will now be forced to miss the early part of the new Premier League season.

He spent much of last term on the sidelines but returned for the final four league games, with the England international scoring two crucial goals to help keep his club in the top flight.

But he will now be back in the Finch Farm treatment room, as he looks to get himself back to the player who scored 16 goals in 33 Premier League appearances in the 2020-21 campaign.

Everton boss Lampard was frustrated with the injury to his main striker but conceded that these things can happen.

"Losing a player like Dominic, his quality, in the week going into the first game is obviously going to affect you," the former Chelsea midfielder told reporters.

"I think we're probably looking at around six weeks for the injury. It comes with the territory of training at this level.

"We'll have to work around it, other players will have to step up and hopefully that six weeks passes relatively quickly and we'll get Dominic back."

"Through pre-season we were constantly commenting on how good he looked, strong, we were really pleased so it's a knock for everybody, particularly for him."

Calvert-Lewin's absence leaves Lampard with a selection headache for Saturday's Premier League opener against Chelsea, with a real lack of striking options available to him.

Last season's top goalscorer Richarlison has departed for Tottenham Hotspur this window in a £60million deal, while Salomon Rondon is suspended after being sent off against Brentford at the back end of the 2021-22 campaign.

Lampard suggested that it will be Dele Alli to play up top against Chelsea and did not rule out the possibility of a striker being brought in before the end of the window.

When questioned on any potential business, the 44-year old replied: "I wouldn't speak about other targets individually, but in that area of the pitch [attack], we are obviously aware.

"We lost Richarlison who was versatile across the front, we've brought in Dwight [McNeil] but we're well aware of areas where we want to strengthen.

"A lot of clubs will be making moves in the first few weeks of the season. I don't agree with it but it is what it is.

"Some clubs probably keep their cards close to their chest because of that and wait to see what happens at the end of the window. We know where we want to get to.

"In terms of last season, we finished where we were for a reason, we lost Richarlison who's a big player for us, so we have to assess once the window shuts."


Dele Alli ended a six-month wait for his first Everton goals and vowed to keep "fighting" to prove himself to boss Frank Lampard.

The former Tottenham and England star moved to Goodison Park in January, but struggled to make an impact at the sharp end of the pitch.

He made 11 appearances for the Toffees last season but only one start, and will be hoping to reset and win over manager Lampard in the new campaign.

A double from Alli in the 4-2 win at Blackpool on Sunday might count for little in the long run, given the game was a friendly, but for the 26-year-old Alli it marked a breakthrough moment.

"I got two goals, so I'm happy," said Alli.

He insisted Everton's progress in pre-season should not be judged on "individual moments" and was more about "how we're building as a team".

A close scrape with relegation last season has been followed by Everton losing Brazil forward Richarlison to Tottenham, and a recent 4-0 defeat to Minnesota United was a worrying result on paper.

There have been no attacking additions of note, and that may shift the goalscoring onus onto the likes of Alli. He was once a proven finisher with Spurs, hitting 22 goals across all competitions in the 2016-17 season, but in recent years that clinical edge has been blunted.

Everton start their Premier League campaign against Chelsea on August 6, so this is a timely return to scoring ways for Alli, who knows he is far from assured of a place in the team to face Thomas Tuchel's side.

He says that applies across the board, though.

"To achieve anything, we need to be fighting for places," Alli said, quoted on Everton's website. "No one's place is guaranteed. We have to work hard in every game and training session. Everything we do, we need to apply ourselves.

"When you're at a club like Everton, it's not for the manager to say that places are up for grabs."

Frank Lampard hailed Everton's dramatic 3-2 win against Crystal Palace as "one of the greatest moments of my footballing life" after battling back from two goals down to clinch Premier League safety.

Everton entered Thursday's contest at Goodison Park knowing that victory would guarantee them a 69th consecutive campaign of English top-flight football – a record only Arsenal (97 from next season) can better – but trailed to goals from Jean-Philippe Mateta and Jordan Ayew before half-time.

However, for the first time in their Premier League history, at what was the 75th attempt, the Toffees recovered from a two-goal deficit at the midway point of a game to collect all three points thanks to goals from Michael Keane, Richarlison and Dominic Calvert-Lewin.

Lampard's side can no longer be caught by Leeds United and Burnley in the final relegation spot with one fixture – away at top-four chasing Arsenal on Sunday – remaining.

And while Chelsea great Lampard may have been more accustomed to winning major trophies across his playing days, the Everton boss ranks the victory over Palace as a career highlight.

"It is one of the greatest moments of my footballing life and career," he told BBC Sport. "I have been very fortunate to have amazing times, especially at Chelsea as a player and a coach. 

"But when you feel the feelings and desperation of what relegation brings to the table, it is different. You need to dig in. You lose games, you fight to do something and then you lose another game. People think you should fly up the table and it is never that way. 

"Coming in here three and a half months ago with my amazing staff, positive people who work so hard, and trying to affect things and getting a reaction from the players, from the fans and feeling unity when it looked split. This club is special and I am proud to be manager of Everton on this night."

Everton have now gained 15 points from losing positions in the Premier League this season – only Liverpool (17) have recovered more – with 38 per cent of their points in 2021-22 coming in games in which they have fallen behind.

Lampard, who took over from Rafael Benitez at the end of January, celebrated the latest comeback triumph wildly with Everton fans, his backroom staff members and the club board.

"I thought I might cry at full-time; I thought I might jump out of my body," he said. "Nobody can question the celebrations at the end. It is easy to say 'but you haven't won anything'. You know what, come and work at this club for a few months and see the difficulties and what it means to people to stay in this league. 

"See us 2-0 down at half-time, playing poorly, ridiculous second goal and then see the character they showed. See the fans on the pitch in good heart and spirit. They have pulled us over the line, they have been more than a 12th man. But the players also deserve huge credit. An amazing night."

He added: "I'm overwhelmed and I've got so much thanks for people because there's a lot of people who have worked so hard for that, to get over the line today. Namely the players, the fans, the board, my staff. Huge night for Everton and now we want to take that forward."

Dele Alli, who has struggled since arriving from Tottenham in the January window, played a huge part in the turnaround after being introduced at the interval.

"Dele was brilliant when he came on. He changed the game individually," Lampard said. "We had already changed the system but it was to give a little bit of information. 

"It was nothing to do with a system change to change the game, it was always going to be the players, their character and desire to engage the crowd and make something happen.

"I can't take too much credit. I didn't come up with some new magical tactics. We went direct, but no problem in this position. But we relied on the players."

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