To make sure you never miss out on your favourite NEW stories, we're happy to send you some reminders

Click 'OK' then 'Allow' to enable notifications

Pictures emerge of Dele Alli on his return to first-team training at Everton, it's great to see

Pictures emerge of Dele Alli on his return to first-team training at Everton, it's great to see

Dele Alli has returned to first-team training at Finch Farm.

Dele Alli has resumed full training with Everton following a lengthy absence from the first-team fold.

The 27-year-old midfielder, who last played a competitive game in February during his loan spell at Turkish outfit Besiktas, has been hard at work after undergoing hip surgery in April.

Everton manager Sean Dyche revealed earlier this month that the former England international is close to a return.

“He is back on the grass with the sports science/fitness side, going through football-related drills, but the actual freedom to join in with us is not there yet," said Dyche.

“Hopefully over the next week he will start blending in. 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 with us would be really pleasing for him because he has been so unlucky."

He added: “The last time, 12-13 weeks ago when he was going to join in, 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: ‘I’m feeling great.’”

A week later and Alli, who bravely opened up on his mental health struggles in July, was pictured in first-team training as he continues to build up his fitness.

Here's how fans on social media reacted to Dele's return.

One said: "Having Dele Alli’s football brain and skill can be a real bonus to this Everton team. There’s a cohesion there now, they are fighting and have found some real consistency. Adding the talent of a player like Dele when he is fit and firing could take this side further still."

A second wrote: "I really like Dele Alli in the same way I rave about James Garner. They are just really clever on the pitch. The positioning, the timing, the vision is smart. The game is full of athletes now so the footballers with nous stand out and they are certainly two of them."

A third commented: "Happy to see Dele Alli back after opening up on his childhood and career issues," while a fourth added: "Dele Alli has officially returned to training for Everton today. His first training appearance since opening up about his struggles as a child & his mental health. Things we love to see."

Last month, Sean Dyche revealed that Alli has become a makeshift coach at Finch Farm.

“I don't think he would mind me sharing that there probably was a period when (his career) was drifting for him," Dyche said.

“He had a lot going on. Once that came out, it has allowed him the chance to focus on his football and he has been very involved in terms of absorbing.

“He can't get out on the grass with us yet but he is looking at it and he is absorbing what the input from myself and the staff has been.

“He is clear-minded now. It was very difficult what he was going through, of course. We know that. But he is very willing to share, give an opinion."

Image credit: Getty
Image credit: Getty

Dyche added: “It's a case of us having a coffee in the canteen. You'll say: ‘Hey, Dele, how is it going? What are your thoughts?’ He'll point out little things. ‘I thought that, I thought this.’ It's just a natural combination where we like players to share a view.

“It's a nice knock-on effect that you can share something with the group. You can say: ‘I was chatting with Dele the other day and he said this really important thing.’ We were clear-minded when we were talking about direct football - not just kicking the ball forward.

“He said it was very similar to when Pochettino first went in at Tottenham. He used to talk about it all the time. He seems to me to be very secure in himself. He's more than happy to share what he is thinking. These are amazing things he's experienced. People, sometimes, lose sight of that.”

Alli, who has made 13 appearances since joining the Toffees from Spurs in 2022, has one year left on his current deal at Goodison Park.

Featured Image Credit: Getty Images - Everton FC

Topics: Dele Alli, Everton, Premier League, Sean Dyche, Tottenham Hotspur