By Daniel Feliciano

29th Jul, 2022 | 8:10pm

Dele Alli squad number change shows he has a future at Everton

Despite all the speculation and all the goings on at Everton one thing now seems certain, Dele Alli will be at Goodison Park this season in the blue shirt.

The Toffees announced on Friday morning that the former England international has taken up his preferred squad number 20 for the upcoming season, having originally worn number 36 after joining from Tottenham in January.

A new squad number obviously isn’t too telling about his future, but it does show that the club are planning and have every intention to have him in the squad for the new season.

Dele’s career in recent years has really stagnated. After breaking into the Spurs and England team fresh out of MK Dons, he made a name for himself as one of the best goalscoring midfielders in Europe.

But after Mauricio Pochettino stopped getting a tune out of him, all of Jose Mourinho, Nuno Espirito Santo and Antonio Conte have struggled to get him back to that level from once upon a time.

Lampard brought him in but with a relegation battle at the forefront of Everton’s season last year, the boss instead opted to leave him on the bench for the majority of the time as they navigated their way to safety.

But with new ambitions, new goals and a fresh slate for this season Lampard is now hoping to see the best of Dele once more and a more familiar squad number has been handed to him to show him that confidence.

That tells you that they have no intention of cutting their ties with him early as has been suggested previously. It also tells you that he has no intention of trying to go elsewhere for an easier time. He’s locked in and ready to go.

With Richarlison gone, Dele’s goals would be a huge help for the club to try and get out of relegation trouble and instead be battling to be in the top end of the table.

He doesn’t have much longer to win people around again after years of disappointment, but Everton fans will be getting behind him.

They need him and he needs them at this point, and a decision has clearly been by all parties to give him that final opportunity.