Everton completed the signing of Allan (£5.5m) from Napoli a week before the start of the 2020/21 campaign, with the Brazilian putting pen to paper on a three-year deal.
The central midfielder will be reunited with Carlo Ancelotti, who coached him for 18 months in Serie A.
While the subsequent capture of James Rodriguez (£7.5m) has perhaps overshadowed it, Allan’s move to Merseyside is still worthy of note from a Fantasy perspective.
The 29-year-old Brazil international likely won’t attract much interest in Fantasy Premier League himself, it should be said: a total of 12 league goals in a career spanning more than a decade is a strong indicator on that front.
The ex-Napoli man only once registered more than five assists in a single season in his eight-year stay in Serie A, meanwhile.
But it’s his potential impact on other Fantasy assets from Everton that we’ll be examining here, a topic that is perhaps even more pertinent given that Ancelotti’s troops sit near the top of our Season Ticker until December: the Toffees face all three newly promoted clubs and five teams who finished tenth or below in the Premier League last season in the first 11 Gameweeks of the new campaign.
A combative, all-action central midfielder, Allan was a much-needed capture for Everton given their woes in the middle of the park in 2019/20.
The sale of Idrissa Gueye and long-term absence of Jean-Philippe Gbamin (£5.0m) left the Toffees desperately short of defensive shields last season and Ancelotti’s persistence with a 4-4-2 only added to the problems, with Gylfi Sigurdsson (£7.0m), Andre Gomes (£5.5m) and Tom Davies (£5.5m) all failing to convince when they were used in a two-man central midfield.
The immobile Sigurdsson especially isn’t suited to such a deep role in the middle of the park, while it’s no coincidence that Gomes’ form suffered without a Gueye-type anchor alongside him.
It soon became blindingly obvious that reinforcements would be needed in the engine room, especially if Ancelotti was to continue with his preferred formation.
He may not be exactly the same type of player as Gueye but Allan nevertheless fits the bill, with the player himself describing his playing style upon signing for the Toffees:
A strong part of my game is marking and the desire to go in to win absolutely every ball.
That is definitely a differential in my game and I believe with my desire I can put in really good performances to win over the fans.
I’ve been very competitive since I was a child; always wanted to win.
Everything we do in midfield and defence – winning a 50/50, winning a tackle or a one-on-one, clearing the ball – a lot of the time it’s like scoring a goal.
In the game, sometimes these things are very important.
At times it all seems so natural but a tackle, winning a one-on-one, clearing a ball; if it’s quite a tight game, we celebrate as if it’s a goal.
That’s about dedication and giving everything on the pitch.
Ancelotti said of his new recruit, meanwhile:
I think Allan is a fantastic player, he has fantastic energy and quality in midfield. I know him very well and he knows me.
Our supporters will love him because he plays with a lot of passion. He is a fantastic signing for us.
Tactically he is really good. Really strong defensively, he wins a lot of balls. He is aggressive and he is Brazilian, so he is able to do both – [contribute] with the ball and without the ball.
For sure, with Allan we are going to improve.
Born in Rio de Janeiro in January 1991, Allan’s senior career began in earnest with Vasco de Gama in his homeland.
After making 51 league appearances (without scoring) for the Brazilian outfit, Allan made the move to Udinese in July 2012.
Swiftly becoming a regular in Francisco Guidolin’s overachieving side, Allan spent three seasons with Il Bianconeri – helping them to a fifth-place finish in the first of them – before Napoli won the hotly contested race for his signature in July 2015.
His first three years in Naples were spent under Maurizio Sarri, with Allan very rarely used at the base of the midfield.
Rather, he was more commonly operating in the sort of role we saw N’Golo Kante (£5.0m) in during Sarri’s season-long stay at Stamford Bridge, playing to the side of a ball-playing ‘regista’ – namely Jorginho (£5.0m) – in a 4-3-3.
His attacking returns rose modestly as a result but, following Ancelotti’s appointment as Sarri’s successor in July 2018, the Brazilian was tasked with a more disciplined role in the central midfield two of a 4-4-2 – a system he may again be operating in on Merseyside.
Allan arrives in England off the back of his worst season in years.
A stop-start campaign that was littered with fitness issues ended badly, with Ancelotti sacked in December 2019, Allan falling out with new coach Gennaro Gattuso and losing his place, and Napoli slumping to their worst finish (seventh) in over a decade.
Allan in Serie A
Belatedly making his international debut in November 2018, Allan has been capped nine times by Brazil at the time of writing.
ALLAN V OTHER EVERTON MIDFIELDERS
Allan in Serie A
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