Everton have been linked with a move for the 29-year-old Brazilian midfielder Allan, who has excelled under Carlo Ancelotti during his time in Naples and the new Everton manager is hoping on a reunion with the all-round midfielder this summer.
Allan operates primarily as a defensive midfielder or as a central midfielder and is equally comfortable at playing both in an attacking and defensive midfield role; he is also capable of being deployed in a deeper role as a playmaker. As such, he has also been labelled a box-to-box midfielder in the media. He is also capable of playing on the left or right flank, and has even been deployed as a full-back on occasion.
Normally deployed as a holding midfielder in front of the back-line, Allan is known as a dynamic, physically strong, tenacious, as an energetic right-footed midfielder, with good ball-winning abilities. He also possesses good technique, dribbling skills, pace and good long passing ability, which enables him to start attacking plays after winning back possession.
Allan has been described as a complete and tactically versatile midfielder, who is different from traditional defensive midfielders, due to his reputation for dribbling past defenders and passing the ball through the legs of an opponent.
In his first taste of European football, after signing for Serie A club Udinese during 2012/2013 summer, Allan played mostly as a defensive midfielder, recovering and distributing a large number of balls.
His then manager Francesco Guidolin trusted him in the heart of his team, playing him in 36 games in the league out of 38 games, he proved one of the best bargains of the season, defying expectation and playing almost all games as a starter to help Udinese to finish in a surprise fifth-place position, securing qualification to UEFA Europa League.
His calm and controlled performances in midfield also prompted Udinese new manager Andrea Stramaccioni to suggest that he was now one of the best young midfielders in Europe, comparable to Manchester United’s Paul Pogba.
In the 2014/2015 season, Allan was named to be the top ball-winner of all of Europe’s top-five leagues (Premier League, La Liga, Bundesliga, Serie A and Ligue 1) with the most balls won.
His masterclass displays paved the way for Napoli’s move in 2015 summer. Since his debut for Napoli, Allan has made 203 appearances while scoring 10 goals.
After featuring prominently during Carlo Ancelotti’s reign, the switch of formation from the 4-4-2 to 4-3-3 by Napoli’s new coach Gattuso, has prompted a shuffle in the midfield structure as well as the roles of the players, which has limited Allan’s input in the team.
Since Allan’s role as a defensive midfielder has recently been occupied by Napoli’s young new signing Demme, featuring prominently in Allan’s absence, it would be safe to say that Allan’s is no more assured of a starting berth even when he returns to full fitness.
As per claims by Italian outlet Il Mattino, Napoli have already rejected an opening bid of £40million by Everton for midfielder Allan.
With the transfer window still some way ahead, Everton might still have the chance to convince the Neapolitan club to let go of their Brazilian midfielder, who is also attracting Atlectico Madrid’s interest as they look to fill in for Arsenal-bound Thomas Partey.