Allan leaves the club as Everton re-building continues under Lampard

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - APRIL 24: Allan of Everton applauds the fans before the Premier League match between Liverpool and Everton at Anfield on April 24, 2022 in Liverpool, United Kingdom. (Photo by Visionhaus/Getty Images)
LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - APRIL 24: Allan of Everton applauds the fans before the Premier League match between Liverpool and Everton at Anfield on April 24, 2022 in Liverpool, United Kingdom. (Photo by Visionhaus/Getty Images) /

Everton have confirmed the departure of Brazilian midfielder Allan to the United Arab Emirates club Al Wahda for an undisclosed transfer fee.

It brings to an end a two year spell on Merseyside for Allan who was brought to Everton from Italy by Carlo Ancelotti in the summer of 2020.

The Brazilian came to Goodison Park, alongside fellow midfielder Abdoulaye Doucoure, after the Italian became the Blues’ boss to much fanfare in December 2019.

Like many Evertonians I was excited at the prospect of such a world-renowed coach taking the reigns and for a while I thought it was possible he could turn the Toffees’ around.

Allan’s arrival, although not anywhere near as headline-grabbing a signing as James Rodriguez of course, represented the sort of quality and experienced player the team needed, especially in the engine room.

He was I think generally a popular player with supporters, and one who performed well overall for the Blues’ although he had some dips in form at times and a fair few injuries.

Ultimately though, it wasn’t to be under Ancelotti and after a 2020-21 season blighted by injury and the Covid restrictions, which also ended with failure to qualify for Europe, the Italian left to re-join Real Madrid early last summer.

Ever since Ancelotti’s departure Allan’s future has been a little uncertain. He had always been a player who had very much been seen as Ancelotti’s man and his former manager at Napoli was a key reason for him joining the Toffees’ of course.

He and Doucoure formed the first-choice midfield two under Rafa Benitez at the start of last season. Again though, injury struck to undermine his start and the Brazilian was in and out of the side as results declined and the team battled against relegation.

Now, he has left the club to play in the Middle East where his former Everton team-mate Rodriguez is also playing his trade these days.

In a sense Allan’s departure is another indication of just how confused and uncertain this club has been for so long in terms of manager and player signings.

Huge sums were spent on a succession of players and coaches, including Ancelotti, none of whom were able to bring stability or success to Goodison Park.

As I said, Allan wasn’t a bad player at all and he always performed with determination and commitment to the cause, something that certainly couldn’t be said at time of every one of his team-mates.

On the downside he lacked enoguh pace for the Premier League and is very much the wrong side of 30 now.

If he had been free of injury (some hope of course with this club!) was able to play alongside midfield partners with pace and energy and in his best position, which I think was further forward than he often played, we might have seen a lot more from him.

His leaving though indicates how determined current manager Frank Lampard is (with the considerable support of Kevin Thelwell) to stamp his own mark on this Blues’ squad.

The former Chelsea boss has shown a degree of ruthlessness which is unusual for recent Everton managers and I have to say it’s welcome to see.

Lampard has indicated with his transfer decisions that players who are deemed to not fit in with his philosophy or perform consistently will be moved on as soon as possible.

This is important to give structure and focus to his players and mold the side he wants to see. Only then can we judge him properly.

Too often in the past Everton managers have inherited bloated squads of players some of whom they haven’t wanted and had to make do and mend. It was a recipe for confusion and underachievement.

Now, after so much upheaval and change it appears that there is a new-found degree of strategy and direction at the football club with Lampard and Thelwell’s appointments.

Another recent example of Lampard’s determination to ensure everyone of his players is on the same page, is Dele Alli’s departure for Turkey.

The former Spurs star was brought to Everton by Lampard on transfer deadline day back in January as he himeself was being installed as manager.

The Blues’ boss hoped he could find a way to bring back the Alli who had shone for Tottenham and England and who once been one of the most highly-regarded young talents in Europe.

But it wasn’t to be and he couldn’t find his past form despite odd moments of excellence from him, such as in that season-defining Crystal Palace game.

However, rather than hoping he might eventually come good or letting Alli just sit on the bench collecting his wages, he was moved on quickly. This also saved a big fee being paid to Tottenham under the terms of his deal.

As for Allan, given this summer’s arrivals in midfield – Amadou Onana, Idrissa Gueye and James Garner – the stunning form of Alex Iwobi, plus the return to fitness of Tom Davies and Doucoure, he had fallen down the pecking order and wasn’t likely to get much playing time.

Now, he has gone and the re-building under Lampard continues. The early signs are generally good, but there is still a long way to go before we will know if the latest manager and Director of Football to try under Farhad Moshiri’s ownership, are able to turn around this club’s fortunes.