Tottenham Hotspur star, Dele Alli, is back amongst the starting line up this season after recovering from a recent injury, but it has been far from plane sailing for the young man.
Alli was pushed into a far deeper role against Liverpool on Sunday and asked to perform defensive tasks, rather than getting up and around Harry Kane.
Ex-Arsenal man, Paul Merson, has now claimed that Dele has lost faith in his Spurs teammates and their ability to find him when he makes late runs into the box.
Alli used to be famed for those kinds of runs, often being found by a raking Alderweireld ball from the back or a Christian Eriksen cross, with the mind drifting to those two headers against Chelsea.
Merson says that Dele needs to refind his old self, make those runs, and score goals. He even stated that Alli was the closest thing to Frank Lampard at one stage.
He said (Sky Sports): ‘I’ve said it for a long time, Dele Alli has to get back to the old Dele Alli and he was one of the best young attacking midfield prospects in Europe. He got in the box, made runs and he could score a goal. He was probably the nearest thing to Frank Lampard at one stage.
‘If you’re a midfielder, no one likes chasing another midfielder when they haven’t got the ball and they get in the box and score a goal. That’s what he’s stopped doing. He might be thinking that when Moussa Sissoko has got the ball, is it worth me running? And that’s a problem.
‘I like Harry Winks but he’s not a 40-yard passer of the ball. The only one who is going to put it on a sixpence for you in the Tottenham team is Christian Eriksen and if you look back on Alli’s goals over the last few years, some of his goals have been from 40-yard passes and I think he’s lost confidence in the players on the ball. It’s horrible because he starts thinking ‘I’m not going to run here because I’m not going to be found’ so you don’t run and you’re the one who gets the blame and I think that’s the problem he’s got at the moment.’
Spurs Web Opinion:
I feel that Dele Alli is being backed into a corner by Pochettino’s formations. If you are going to play him as a holding midfield, you may as well just play Dier or Skipp or Ndombele. If you are going to play him on the left-wing, just choose Son or Moura. Dele needs to be played just behind Kane if he is going to get back to his best.
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