Everton: Frank Lampard team decision indicates £16 million man’s uncertain future

Everton (Photo by Joe Prior/Visionhaus via Getty Images)
Everton (Photo by Joe Prior/Visionhaus via Getty Images) /

Everton were handed a major blow in their Premier League survival pursuit as they lost 3-2 to Brentford at Goodison Park. A win would have secured their Premier League status as Leeds United dropped points at Elland Road. When the team sheets came out, Frank Lampard took everyone by surprise by starting Andre Gomes over Allan.

Fabian Delph was ruled out after picking up an injury against Watford. The Englishman had become the backbone of the side in the relegation battle. The closest player to replace Delph’s profile was Allan. It was expected that the Brazilian would take Delph’s place in the starting lineup.

Lately, Allan was reduced to a bits and parts role as Delph remained Everton’s prime defensive midfielder, running the show in the midfield. The former Napoli man last played entire 90 minutes was against Manchester United. It felt that Lampard trusted the experience and dexterity of Delph over Allan in the time of crisis.

Allan becomes the closest like for like replacement to Delph. But when Lampard named Gomes in the starting lineup and gave no sort of explanation over Allan’s absence, it indicated that perhaps the 31 year old wasn’t entirely trusted to do the job.

Allan was not brought into the game for Everton even after the red card

Things took a sharp turn as the balance of power immediately shifted to Brentford’s side when Jarrad Branthwaite got himself sent off. Without another central defender on the bench, one expected a defensive midfielder Allan to come in and sit in front of the defence. A striker sacrifice was expected but it never came.

Even when Everton took the lead at the stroke of half time, it was thought that Allan would come in the second half to mop up and absorb the relentless pressure Brentford were applying. The Brazilian would have been the perfect antidote to everything Brentford were throwing at Everton.

His tackles and interceptions could break up the play and give Everton a fair chance on the counter. Gomes and Abdoulaye Doucoure struggled to do any of that. Allan remained on the bench and the Toffees eventually lost.

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There have been murmurs of Italian clubs eyeing Allan with Lazio boss Maurizio Sarri wanting a reunion with the 31 year old. Allan has one year left on his deal and if he doesn’t feature in Lampard’s plans, summer move for him might be on the cards.

Everton still have their fate in their hands as a win against Crystal Palace will keep them safe but a failure to do so means the relegation scrap will go down to the last match day and there’s a chance that Everton’s fate will depend on the outcome of Burnley’s and Leeds’ games.

With Delph still unavailable and Gomes clearly not able to do the needful, it is a tailor-made situation for Allan to come in and step up in the middle of the park.

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