Everton have begun revamping their midfield by eventually sealing the signing of Napoli’s Allan for a reported £25 million.
The Blues had long been linked with the 29-year-old, who worked under Carlo Ancelotti at Napoli before his sacking, and completed the deal on Saturday.
Allan is the first of three major midfield signings for Everton, with Watford’s Abdoulaye Docuouré and James Rodriguez close to joining, as Ancelotti looks to fix an area of the pitch where his side were so desperately lacking last term.
Following Allan’s arrival, we spoke to Italian football writer Chloe Beresford on what Evertonians should expect from their latest Brazilian recruit:
RBM: Firstly, Allan featured heavily for Napoli both in Ancelotti’s favoured 4-4-2 and in his predecessor Maurizio Sarri’s preferred 4-3-3. Given Ancelotti has used both formations at Everton so far, which system suits him better?
Chloe: The 4-3-3 definitely suited him much better. Allan was an integral part of Sarri’s midfield alongside Jorginho and Marek Hamsik.
Allan often did the tough work of winning the ball back, and giving it to Jorginho who would make short passes to the likes of Hamsik, who then took the ball forward.
RBM: Much has been made of Allan’s defensive and tackling abilities, but how much has he offered Napoli from an attacking sense?
Chloe: Allan is a grafter for sure, but if you look at the stats from Sarri’s three seasons in charge, he had five, six and five assists in those years.
His main role is clearly to protect the defence and win the ball back, but he has a good ability to dribble the ball forward and contribute to the attack.
RBM: There is a perception that Allan’s form dipped after a move to Paris Saint-Germain fell through in January 2019. Is this fair? If so, did it seem due more to lack of motivation or early signs of declining ability in the 29-year-old?
Chloe: Yes, it’s fair, but I think that many of the Napoli players suffered once Sarri left the club. I don’t think this is any reflection on Ancelotti, but more because they were playing in an extremely precise system under Sarri that had taken three years to perfect.
It was hard for them to transition to a new coach with different ideas. There could be some weight to the argument that it was also due to the PSG interest, but I think rather than declining ability that it was just time for a change for the Brazilian.
Our thanks to Chloe for her time. You can subscribe to her Serie A newsletter, Curva e Calcio, by clicking here.