Before Tottenham Hotspur’s game with Manchester City, Graeme Souness told Sky Sports that Dele Alli should be coming at the new season with a ‘my career starts now’ attitude.
The ex-Liverpool man suggested that Dele needs to bring back the ‘anger’ to his game while also explaining that ‘he’s not even in his prime yet’.
The 25-year-old’s career has no doubt stagnated, especially under Jose Mourinho where he was outcasted by the Portuguese manager. In fact, he didn’t score a single Premier League goal last season.
However, under new manager Nuno Espirito Santo, Dele has featured in every single pre-season match and also played the full ninety minutes against Manchester City: covering the most distance (11.06km) of any player.
Those at Spurs will be hoping that Nuno can rejuvenate Dele and get the best out of him for the upcoming season.
Souness spoke about the 25-year-olds situation in depth, explaining the mentality Dele should have coming into this new season.
He said: “He should be looking at it as ‘my career starts now’.
“I know I am capable, but for whatever reason for the last three or fours years, I have not been at it.
“He has to question himself. I am not buying when teammates say he is looking in great shape. You said on social media, he looks great.
“That doesn’t sound for one bit. It’s what goes on inside his head. Am I bang up for it?
“A daft thing and people will shoot himself with this. All of a sudden, he was an angry man when he got into the team. I saw him square up to people.
“I thought that’s going to stand you in good stead. He was up for the cut. If someone wanted to kick him, he said ‘come on then’.
“Then all of a sudden, the minute someone brushes against him, he goes down as if he has been poleaxed. He has got to get out of his game, be aggressive, attacking, and working-hard player. He’s not even in his prime yet.”
Souness is well-known for being a harsh pundit of players at times, but I don’t think he is too far off the mark with his comments here. Dele needs to recapture the spark and bite he had a few years ago. City was a good start: he covered a lot of ground but there is still work to do.
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