By Elliott Cuff

16th May, 2021 | 8:24pm

Fletcher and Keown praise 'vital' Allan in Everton clash v Sheffield United

Commentator Darren Fletcher has underlined the importance of Everton midfielder Allan by making a key point during the club’s clash with Sheffield United.

The Brazil international has been an integral player for Carlo Ancelotti’s side this season since making the move from Napoli in the summer.

Operating as a screen for Everton’s backline, the 30-year old midfield general’s absence has been sorely missed in the 14 Premier League fixtures that he’s missed through injury.

Commentating on Everton’s game against Sheffield United alongside Martin Keown for BT Sport, Fletcher stressed how the lack of goals and assists in Allan’s game shouldn’t see his influence for the Blues be understated.

Speaking about Allan’s recent performances, Fletcher said: “It does show these days how the role of the central midfielder has changed.

“He hasn’t got an assist or a goal yet this season for Everton, Allan, but nobody would tell you that he hasn’t been a vital piece of the picture for them in central midfield.”

Keown also weighed in, further asserting that the £21million summer signing would be a valued signing for many clubs across the league.

Keown added: “Quite right, there’s a lot of teams who would take him.

“He’s really important for them.”

Different class

Allan really has brought Everton’s midfield play to a whole new level this season and it is testament to the club’s recruitment that there were able to sign him for such a modest fee.

The Brazilian has offered a defensive solidity that the Blues simply didn’t possess last season, while when he is able to get on the ball he has shown that he has something to offer offensively too.

Unfortunately for Everton, Allan is 30-years old and won’t be getting any younger, so though he has seen the club’s immediate improvement he won’t be a long-term solution in that position.

Hopefully Jean-Philippe Gbamin can get back to fitness fast and learn from Allan, while Tom Davies could also benefit from being taken under the midfielder’s wing.

Everton hope to build a side that can challenge for the top four over the next few seasons and having talented players like Allan certainly puts them on the right path to doing just that.

In other Everton news, former Toffees ace names the two Everton players who have caused the side problems this season.

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