Glen Hoddle has urged Nuno Espirito Santo to play Dele Alli in a more advanced role and give the midfielder the freedom to get into goalscoring positions.
Alli’s position has gone considerably downhill over the last couple of years but it seemed like the 25-year-old had got a new lease of life under Nuno at the start of the season.
The England international put in some decent performances operating on the left side of a midfielder three.
However, his form has since dipped and the former MK Dons man has not played a single minute in the Premier League since being replaced at half time during Tottenham’s 3-1 loss to rivals Arsenal last month.
Alli failed to convince again in the Europa Conference League clash against Vitesse Arnhem last week and according to The Daily Mail, Nuno has left the midfielder out of the matchday squad for Tottenham’s Carabao Cup round of 16 clash against Burnley this evening.
Hoddle put Alli’s struggles down to the way he has been used by Nuno, insisting that the Portuguese coach has not played him in his best position.
The legendary Spurs midfielder told The Sun: “Dele is a major asset. Playing at his best, he would score more goals than Foden and Mount.
“He is a midfielder who gets in the box. He is a box threat, rather than a deeper player who is a builder and you can build your game around.
“His biggest attribute is his ability to get into the box. And when he gets back to doing that, he will show us why he was so highly rated.
“But at the moment he has lost his goalscoring ability and I don’t think he is being played in a role where he is being told to get into the box.
“When Dele gets into the box, he is a wonderful player. You would want him in any team because goalscoring midfielders are hard to come by.
“I don’t see him as someone who plays deep who you build your patterns of play through. He is the one who finishes your jigsaw, not starts it, by scoring goals.
“He came back this summer with a really good attitude. He clearly wants to put it right. And that’s half the battle.
“But for me, to get the best out of him, he has to play in that position where he can hit the space in the attacking areas. That’s where he is at his best.”
Spurs Web Opinion
One can understand where Hoddle is coming from as Nuno has not used Alli in a number ten role this season. However, there is little evidence over the past couple of years to suggest that the 25-year-old would be effective in that role. I would rather see Nuno continuing to persist with Ndombele in that role as the Frenchman allows us to retain the ball and is capable of driving at the opposition.
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