In our Transfers that shook the club feature, Football Transfer Tavern takes a look at deals that many may not have seen coming and the impact that they had during their time by using statistical data and pundit remarks.
When signing for around £5m in early 2015, there was little warning that Dele Alli would burst onto the Premier League scene in the manner that he did in the following season.
His exploits had helped Spurs achieve a best-ever Premier League finish of third.
Not content with being a one-season wonder, Alli picked up where he left off the following year, scoring 18 times as Spurs went one better and finished second, while he was named in the PFA Team of the Year for a second successive campaign and earned the PFA Young Player of the Year award.
It seemed that Tottenham Hotspur had become the new force to be reckoned with in the English game – with the likes of Alli and Harry Kane pivotal to that end.
Having become a full international in that time, too, Alli had pretty much barged his way to the top of the game – and fully deserved it.
The following seasons would see Alli’s influence and Spurs’ level of success decrease, as silverware would elude them despite maintaining their Champions League status.
That led to the club’s remarkable journey to the competition’s finale – but with Alli and Spurs having to settle for runners-up medals, questions were being asked of the midfielder as the ensuing slump eventually cost Mauricio Pochettino his job.
Alli’s story is far from over despite a couple of years out of the limelight in the Premier League, though the arrival of Jose Mourinho perhaps provides new hope. With the 23-year-old notching in the Portuguese’s first home game in charge in midweek, there could be an opportunity for the midfielder to rekindle the form that graced his early Tottenham days – as some pundits have backed him to do.
Whether or not Mourinho can get Alli back to his best, he will at least know what the midfielder is capable of thanks to his ferocious start to life at Spurs.
Can Jose Mourinho get Dele Alli back to his best?
No, he's overhyped
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