Daily Mirror


New Everton boss Frank will hope Donny and Dele can spark quickly for Toffees


FRANK LAMPARD knows from personal experience about the problem of trying to fit two similar midfielder­s into the same line-up.

There was endless debates about how and if the former Chelsea midfielder could play alongside Steven Gerrard in the England team.

So maybe he has the inside track on how to solve it.

Dele Alli and Donny van de Beek arrived as two deadline day signings for Everton within hours of Lampard being confirmed as manager.

They are certainly badly needed even if similar and both have points to prove having fallen out of form and favour at their previous clubs.

And Toffees fans are rightly excited by the arrival of two players who – if they can rediscover their best – can massively improve their creativene­ss from the centre of the park. Everton have only scored three goals from midfield this season.

That, along with Dominic CalvertLew­in’s injury absence for a large part of the first half of the season, has contribute­d to the Toffees being in their current predicamen­t.

Lampard, who has had discussion­s with existing assistant boss Duncan Ferguson, is expected to welcome former England and Chelsea team-mate Ashley Cole into his backroom team.

The Goodison brains trust must find a solution to revive the team and the career of the newcomers.

Van de Beek, 24, has endured a miserable time at Manchester United since his move from Ajax in the summer of 2020.

The Dutchman is only on loan until the end of the season and United want him back next summer.

It works for both United and Everton if he impresses. The Toffees benefit now, United will hope he returns with renewed confidence.

Dele, 25, has not just struggled at Spurs since Mauricio Pochettino left, he has gone backwards.

He was one of England’s star men at the 2018 World Cup. Now he is nowhere near Gareth Southgate’s thoughts ahead of Qatar this year.

His deal is a no-brainer as Everton will not have to pay a penny until next season. Tottenham are not due anything until he has made 20 appearance­s and he will not hit that tally until August at the earliest.

Lampard will need to coax form back out of Dele, something Jose Mourinho, Nuno Espirito Santo and Antonio Conte failed to do.

But first he must blend both Dele and Van de Beek into the same midfield mix. They both like to get forward, they both find gaps between the lines.

Van de Beek spoke about needing to be defensivel­y sound when he was unveiled on Monday so maybe his remit will be slightly deeper.

Neither will play in this weekend’s FA Cup clash with Brentford because they are cup-tied, but what formation Lampard puts out may offer a clue as to how he sees them fitting into the jigsaw.

Lampard and Gerrard were different players to both of them, of course, but the current Everton boss must be confident he knows the answer to this conundrum.

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