Everton boss Frank Lampard has explained why January signing Dele Alli is yet to hit the ground running at Goodison Park.
The Englishman was signed on a 'free' transfer, with no upfront fee but a series of appearance-based payments were agreed, which could see the Blues eventually pay Spurs £40m.
Despite a lot of expectations on the player, Alli has made just a series of appearances for the club mostly from the bench and according to Lampard, he believes the midfielder will come good with time.
“I really have that massive belief in him as a player. So I don't think we have to panic, to rush. When we signed Dele I certainly saw it as a long-term plan. At the moment he has contributed and he has to be patient and wait for his time to start.
“It's a shame he was cup-tied because the two FA Cup games would have offered a great chance to give him minutes, but it's just a matter of time, and being patient, and when he comes in delivering," Lampard said.
The tactician further revealed that the player has spoken with him about his desire to have more minutes on the pitch.
“I think most players want to come and speak to you, and you expect that because most players have the desire to play. Since Dele has been here I cannot question how he has trained every single day, so it will be working with me and working on things he can improve on to be the player we want him to be.
“He is versatile (so) can play in a midfield three as one of the more offensive No 8s. He came on against Manchester City in that position. No 10 is his most natural position. Since I have been here because of injuries I have had to build a team formation and structure out of necessity," Lampard added.
Alli will be hoping to get more minutes when Everton takes on his former side Tottenham on Monday night.