Everton stars Dele Alli and Donny van de Beek can 'definitely work' in the same starting XI

Former Premier League ace Carlton Palmer believes Dele Alli and Donny van de Beek ‘can definitely work’ in the same side following their respective moves to Everton.

The creative midfielders arrived at Goodison Park from Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester United in the January transfer window and have already settled into life on Merseyside well.

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Alli signed a two-and-a-half-year contract after falling down the pecking order at Spurs, completing a deal that could see Everton pay up to £40 million for his services, although a large amount of that fee is dependent on performance-related clauses.

Meanwhile, Van de Beek – who is valued at £22.5m – joined the Toffees on loan until the end of the season in an attempt to reignite his stalling career following a frustrating 18 months at United.

But the creative talents are yet to feature in the same starting lineup under new manager Frank Lampard, despite both players making three appearances in the Premier League already.

Questions have been raised regarding Alli’s and Van de Beek’s ability to feature alongside each other given their similarities and how the attack-minded pair prefer to be awarded license to play in a more advanced position.

According to Transfermarkt, Alli – who is valued at £22.5m – has played the majority of his games as a No.10, making 171 appearances just behind the striker, while Van de Beek has done so on 95 occasions.

What has Palmer said about Alli and Van de Beek?

Everton are currently embroiled in a relegation battle after collecting just 22 points from their 23 Premier League games, leaving them just two places above the bottom three.

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Nevertheless, Palmer believes Alli and Van de Beek can work as an engine room pairing even though both stars are more comfortable in the final third of the pitch.

He told GiveMeSport: “He (Alli) is a talented, talented footballer. So, the two of them in the side can definitely work, for sure.”

How could Everton lineup with Alli and Van de Beek?

Lampard has played two formations in his four-game tenure in charge of Everton, lining up in a 3-4-3 before switching to a more traditional and conservative 4-4-2.

Neither setup would be ideal for incorporating both Alli and Van de Beek, though, meaning a change in system may be required for the 43-year-old if he’s to maximise the output from his winter acquisitions.

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Van de Beek has showcased his ability to play in a slightly deeper No.8 role during his career, registering 69 goal contributions in the position, allowing Lampard some tactical flexibility.

Therefore, a 4-2-3-1 or 4-3-3 system may work best, with Alli allowed more license to attack than his teammate in either setup.

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