Tottenham Hotspur had an incredible season last time out, scraping the top four in the Premier League, but somehow making it all the way to the Champions League final.
Spurs had a number of stand out players along the route to Madrid, however many of them were unlikely heroes to say the least.
Moussa Sissoko, the Tottenham flop, became one of the best central midfielders in Europe at the flip of a switch last season.
Lucas Moura went from sporadic substitute to scoring away at the Nou Camp and a hat-trick in the final 45 minutes away to Ajax to seal final qualification.
Even Fernando Llorente stepped out from Harry Kane’s shadow, scoring against Borussia Dortmund and Man City, before setting up Lucas’ final strike in Amsterdam.
However, with unlikely heroes often comes underperforming stars, as the likes of Dele Alli left plenty of room for subs to come in and make a name for themselves.
The former MK Dons man was a shadow of his former self last season, scoring just five Premier League goals, his lowest ever return.
Ex-Spurs manager Martin Jol labelled Alli as ‘a bit average’ last season, but insists he is still up there with the best.
Jol said (Football London): “Even in Barcelona you couldn’t find better. Iniesta was better on the ball but he was not scoring the goals and getting in behind with the unbelievable timing of Dele.
“This season he’s probably been a bit average but do you really think Pochettino will think ‘I need a better player than Dele Alli now’? I don’t think so. He will just keep developing him.
“Or Son, where can you find a better flank player or a second striker than Son? You can’t find it. So the only thing you can think of is to get better substitute or back-up players.”
Spurs Web Opinion:
I think Dele’s fall from grace last season came from three sources. Number one, he was simply way below his usual standards. Two, the expectation he set from his first few seasons at Tottenham caught up with him. And three, he often played as a deeper midfielder last season, rather than right on Kane’s shoulder. If we push Alli into a centre forward position next campaign, I believe he can get 10-15 goals.
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