Everton man Dele Alli received a standing ovation as he made a cameo appearance at former side Tottenham.
Alli was applauded on by Spurs fans as he entered field on 69 minutes in a match that saw his new team suffer a 5-0 thrashing.
The 25-year-old midfielder, seeing just 20 minutes of game time, can only help his match fitness as he will be needed to assist the Toffees in their serious fight against relegation.
Milton Keynes-born Alli made 269 appearances in all competitions for Spurs, scoring 67 goals having joined the club in February 2015.
Surplus to requirements under Antonio Conte, he joined the Toffees in January on a two-and-a-half-year contract until the end of June 2024.
Since his move to Goodison Park, he has struggled to make an impact so far under Frank Lampard.
The Everton boss has urged him to be patient and claimed his physical condition is the only reason he has not started regularly so far.
Alli has yet to make a significant contribution for the Toffees but Lampard believes that will come once he is into a rhythm of playing matches.
“When he has come off the bench he has contributed well in games and helped the team,’ said Lampard.
“He was particularly good against Man City and showed a discipline in his performance which was required in the game.
“So it’s probably about his condition, learning a bit about myself and how my staff work and then fitting into the team. I don’t think we have to panic, to rush.
“When we signed Dele, I certainly saw it as a long-term plan because I really have that massive belief in him as a player.
“He has to be patient and wait for his time at the start.”
Meanwhile, Conte believes it was the right decision for Alli to find pastures new.
“It was a good decision for the player and for the club,” Conte said of Alli’s mid-season move.
“I can tell you that in the period we worked together I tried to get the best out of him. He was always available in training but in the end it was a good decision for him and he deserves big respect for what he did for this club.
“He’s young and has all the time to take his career in his own hands.”
At Everton, Alli has made just six appearances so far and is yet to start a game for the Blues.
The Toffees are currently 17th in the league standings, one place above the relegation zone with 22 points – their worst points tally in their Premier League history at this stage of the season.
Lampard’s side are one point ahead of Burnley, but have played a game less than the Clarets.
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