Dele Alli’s Everton woes highlight Newcastle United’s fortunate January escape
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Back in January, Newcastle seemed destined to add either Dele Alli or Jesse Lingard to their ranks as the England duo looked for new clubs to get regular game-time.
Ultimately, neither player would make the move to Tyneside, but that might prove to be a stroke of good fortune.
Lingard has since joined Nottingham Forest and although he didn’t pull up any trees at St James’s Park a few weeks ago, that move looks like it could be a real success for both club and player as Steve Cooper’s side embark on their first top-flight season since 1999.
Alli, meanwhile, has endured a disastrous time at Goodison Park and could even be on the move once again.
Reports this week suggested Alli could be on the move to Turkey to join Besiktas - just seven months after joining Frank Lampard’s side in a deal that although initially was a free transfer, could cost Everton up to £40million in total if certain performance conditions are met.
This is a huge fall from grace for a player that was destined for great things in the game - and has seemingly been destined for a move to Newcastle throughout his whole career.
After Alli burst onto the scene with MK Dons, Newcastle, then managed by interim boss John Carver, were heavily-linked with a move for him and were even considered favourites for his signature - before he opted to join Tottenham.
Alli then flourished under Mauricio Pochettino at Spurs but soon found himself down the pecking order under his successor Jose Mourinho.
In a now infamous clip from their ‘All or Nothing’ Amazon Prime documentary, Mourinho is captured telling the midfielder to demand more from himself: ‘One day, I think you will regret it if you don’t reach what you can reach.” Mourinho said.
“You should demand more from you. Not me demanding more from you. Not me. Nobody. You. I think you should demand more from you.”
It appears that Alli’s time in England, at least for now, is over - it makes you think just what might have been had the Magpies plumped for Alli in January.
Whilst a move for the midfielder wouldn’t have been universally well-received on Tyneside, Newcastle would have been getting a Premier League proven player at a time when they needed experience the most - and signing Alli, in that moment, just seemed to make sense.
Every addition in January, barring Bruno Guimaraes, came to the club with Premier League experience and helped drag the Magpies away from relegation danger.
The major contributions of Dan Burn, Kieran Trippier, Matt Targett and Chris Wood all helped to steer a relegation-stricken side comfortably clear of the trap door.
Whilst at Everton, Alli started just once as the Toffees slid closer and closer to the bottom-three and has seen just 38 minutes of action this campaign.
There’s no guarantee that Alli would have been a success or a failure at St James’s Park - but it does seem like Newcastle inadvertently dodged a bullet in missing out on his signature in January.