Everton star Allan’s Toffees debut proved his quality

Everton (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)
Everton (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images) /

New Everton signing Allan has already taken to life in the Premier League with ease and here in more detail is why the Brazil player is such a perfect signing.

On the 25th August 2018, I found myself in Naples watching Napoli’s first home game of the season at the San Paolo. It also happened to be Everton manager Carlo Ancelotti’s first home game as Napoli boss.

Coincidentally against his former side AC Milan. Gonzalo Higuain, former Napoli striker, was also making his AC Milan debut and getting relentlessly booed throughout the match. However, it was the performance of midfielder Allan, playing with socks rolled down, that really caught my eye.

Napoli conceded a spectacular goal in the first half and ended up 2-0 down early in the second. By this point the atmosphere in the stadium was very flat.

That was until recent Toffees’ signing Allan started running the game. This was a different Allan to the holding midfielder who is already a fan favourite at Goodison Park.

Against AC Milan he was box to box, breaking up play, passing forwards and driving the ball up the pitch with energy. Allan was all action and a huge part of the team getting back to 2-2. Late in the second half he burst into the box and laid on a cross for Dries Mertens to complete the comeback and send the San Paolo wild (FT 3-2).

From this extraordinary comeback, it was clear to see that not only was Allan a very talented player but that his relationship with Ancelotti would get the best out of him.

Fast forward to October 2020 and it has been once again obvious that Ancelotti has helped his seamless transition into English football and their relationship was a key and the deciding factor to bringing the player over from Naples.

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Playing deeper at Everton than he did at Napoli, Allan has been the combative holding midfielder the club has craved since Idrissa Gueye left.

With Everton top of the league it is Allan’s short-term injury that is the biggest concern for the club.

When the initial rumours began linking the Brazilian midfielder to Everton I worried whether he would still be the box to box player I first saw light up Naples on a hot summer night.

Admittedly he has played a more defensive role in the team, partly due to Doucoure’s ability to carry the ball up the pitch.

Yet Allan still has all the class and energy I remember and more importantly, that Everton were lacking last season in midfield.

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Perhaps once he is back fit, we might even see the attacking qualities in his game, that were so electric during that first match under Ancelotti two summers ago.