Forgotten star Dele Alli is set to be finally back in action for Everton for the Christmas fixtures.

The former Tottenham and England player has not played this season since aggravating a thigh injury in August following surgery to resolve the problem in the summer. The injury followed an unsuccessful period on loan with Turkish club Besiktas last season and his revelation in the summer about suffering mental health issues.

But Sean Dyche has confirmed Dele - who has only ever started one game since joining Everton from Tottenham in January 2022 - could soon be joining in full training with the rest of the first team squad.

"He is going well," said the Everton boss. "He is back on the grass with the sports science and fitness coaches, going through football related drills, but the actual freedom to come and join in with us is not there yet.

"Hopefully over the next week he will start slowly blending in [with the first team squad]. He still has a bit to go because he has been out for a long time, he needs a game programme, but to get him back on with us would be really pleasing for him because he has been so unlucky.

"The last time, 12-13 weeks ago, when he was going to join us he was so unlucky with the damage that was done. But the good news is that everything is settling down and he is feeling good. I saw him earlier and he said, ‘yes, I’m feeling great’."

Dyche has previously suggested that when Dele nears a return, talks would ramp up between Everton and former club Tottenham. ‌The Goodison club agreed a complex deal with Spurs to sign the former England star back in January 2022, where they paid nothing up front, but could pay up to £30m depending on appearances.

The first of those payments - an outlay of £10m - will be due in seven appearances' time, a figure Everton are highly unlikely to pay due to their precarious financial position. Last month Dyche revealed Everton's Director of Football had held tentative talks with Spurs in hope of renegotiating their current arrangement.

Meanwhile, Dyche says Everton just need to turn chances into goals to improve their poor home record when they face Newcastle tonight. The Toffees have won only one of their seven League games at Goodison Park in stark contrast to four wins on the road.

"It’s about scoring goals, simple as that," said Dyche. "Arguably, we’ve played better at home than away this season but we’re just not sticking it in the net."

Everton's hopes will be boosted by the return of key striker Dominic Calvert -Lewin who missed Saturday's win at Nottingham Forest.

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2023-12-07T08:53:43Z dg43tfdfdgfd