London (AFP) – Dele Alli said he wanted to rediscover the joy of playing football after securing a move to Frank Lampard’s Everton in an effort to revive his faltering career.
The England midfielder signed a two-and-a-half-year contract at Goodison Park, bringing his seven-year stay at Tottenham to an end late in the transfer window, which closed on Monday.
Alli, 25, was a member of Gareth Southgate’s 2018 World Cup squad but has struggled under a succession of managers at Spurs in recent seasons and fallen out of the England reckoning.
“I’ve had a few good conversations with him (Lampard) already and he’s a player I’ve admired watching his whole career,” Alli told Sky Sports.
“To have the opportunity to work with him now is very exciting and hopefully I’m sure we’re going to do great things together.”
When asked his main motivations for the move, he said he wanted to enjoy playing.
“I just want to be happy playing football and I think working with Lampard and the great players they’ve got there I think it’s a great opportunity to do that.
“I’m excited to go there and show the fans what I can do and help the club as much as I can.”
Alli’s move came just hours after Everton had confirmed former Chelsea boss Lampard as Rafael Benitez’s successor.
Lampard also secured the services of Donny van de Beek on deadline day, with the Netherlands midfielder joining on loan from Manchester United for the remainder of the season.
The 24-year-old joined United in a £35 million ($47 million) move from Ajax in 2020 but has made just four Premier League starts for the Red Devils.
“I think it is a great club,” Van De Beek told the Everton website. “There are really good players here and I came because I want to help them go up the table.”
Everton are just four points above the relegation zone having won just once in the Premier League since the end of September.
Both Alli and Van de Beek are cup-tied for Lampard’s bow at Goodison Park against Brentford in the FA Cup fourth round on Saturday.
But they will be free to make their debuts in a vital clash at the bottom of the Premier League table against Newcastle on February 8.
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