One of Jose Mourinho’s top priorities when he became Tottenham boss was to bring back the “real Dele Alli”. But he is still waiting for the midfielder to rediscover his best form.
The England international, who has the prized ability to unlock defences, has played just 45 minutes of football this season and his future at Spurs is in doubt.
Alli was substituted at half-time during the defeat against Everton in his side’s Premier League opener and did not travel to Bulgaria for a Europa League qualifier against Lokomotiv Plovdiv.
He was not in the matchday squad for the 5-2 win at Southampton on Sunday, instead forced to train at the club’s north London base while Son Heung-min scored four and Harry Kane added another.
Mourinho put Alli’s absence down to an unbalanced squad. The 24-year-old faces competition from Erik Lamela, Steven Bergwijn, Lucas Moura, Son, Giovani Lo Celso and now Gareth Bale or a place in the team.
“I want a balanced squad, that’s what I want,” Mourinho said when asked whether he wanted Alli to stay. “He doesn’t need to be sacrificed, but the squad is a puzzle.” (Guardian)