Dele Alli is being affected by issues off the pitch according to Joey Barton after putting in another subdued display in the north London derby against Arsenal.
Dele passed a late fitness test to take his place in Mauricio Pochettino’s starting line-up however he failed to make his mark, was substituted as his side lost 2-0 at the Emirates.
According to the article Alli has endured a slow start to the Premier League season and missed the opening three group-stage fixtures of the Champions League due to a European ban.
He has also been subject of intense speculation with regards to potentially appointing Jorge Mendes as his new agent, with his current deal with Impact Sports Management expiring midway through next year.
And speaking on talkSPORT Barton feels Alli will not return to his best form on the pitch until he sorts out his personal matters.
“I don’t know what’s going on with Dele [Alli] at the moment,” Barton told the Full-Time Phone-In show.
“I like him a lot. I like his character – the story about him – but there’s clearly something rumbling in the background.
“Whether it’s in his personal life, I don’t know what’s going on with the agents, but there’s something not right with him or his inner sanctum at the moment.
Barton added: “The way he was performing last year and going about his business – is not the same this year.
“It could well be a young player developing but I don’t think that is usually [the reason]. Usually if you get the momentum and the confidence he’s had, you just keep striving forward.
Barton continued: “It’ll be up to [Mauricio] Pochettino and Spurs to find out what that is and to get to the root of that pretty quickly.
“It’s a young side and it’s progressing. This mightn’t be the year that they win the league – they mightn’t win the league for a couple of years – but the fact we’re having a conversation about Spurs potentially winning the league is a huge step forward for the club.”
Normally one for spouting claptrap I’d have to agree with Barton. Alli has done ok and we’ve had glimpses of last years player but his demeanour on the pitch is different this year. It’s hard to pin point. A change of agent shouldn’t really be that affecting. Perhaps yesterday his injury was troubling him but we need him to hit the ground running to be the player he can be and not just a passenger.
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