Sky Sports reporter Michael Bridge believes former Tottenham Hotspur manager Jose Mourinho was right in his stance on Dele Alli.
The Lowdown: Alli not Mourinho’s favourite
Mourinho was clearly a fan of Alli’s talent, calling him “one of the world’s best” early on his reign as Spurs manager (The Independent).
However, towards the end of the Portuguese’s tenure, it was clear Mourinho did no trust the England international. In 18 months, the 25-year-old made just 34 starts (Transfermarkt), and his criticism of the midfielder’s application in training was on show in Amazon’s All or Nothing series.
The Latest: Bridge backs Mourinho stance
Speaking to Give Me Sport, Bridge backed Mourinho’s stance on Alli. He said:
“You could even look at it like this. Mourinho didn’t even have him in the squad last season, and everyone was like ‘Mourinho always picks on one player, Dele is the one, poor Dele Alli’ and I’ve got to be honest with you, I was one of those.
“But maybe he was right, maybe he needs a move. He did so much as a youngster at 19 coming in from MK Dons. He has a phenomenal goalscoring record for Tottenham and something is not working.”
The Verdict: Not the player he was
There is no doubt Alli is not the player he was when he first broke onto the scene at Tottenham. In his first two Premier League campaigns at the club, he found the back of the net 28 times – in the four years since, that number has fallen to 23 (all in all, he has found the back of the net 67 times throughout his time in north London).
Should Tottenham sell Alli?
He still has plenty of years left ahead of him to improve, but is seems unlikely that he will be able to make that impact at Spurs despite being called “excellent” by Ryan Mason in May.
After stagnating, a fresh start could be exactly what he needs to kickstart his career and find the form that saw him play in a World Cup semi-final.
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