Graeme Souness believes Spurs star is at risk of becoming ‘a nearly man’

Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
Dom Le Roy

Graeme Souness has written in his column for The Times that Tottenham midfielder Dele Alli is at a crossroads in his career at the moment.

Dele burst onto the scene when he arrived at North London from MK Dons back in the summer of 2015.

He was a somewhat of an unknown quantity coming into the Premier League but his performances for the first couple of seasons in the top flight were up there with the best players in the division.

The midfielder looked like he was destined to end up as one of the best in the world in his position but it is fair to say that his Spurs career has stagnated a slightly since then.

The injury problems he suffered, particularly at the start of this season, have not helped him while he has also been asked to operate in deeper roles than what he played in during his first couple of seasons at the club.

The England international had an upturn in form when Jose Mourinho became Spurs boss back in November but his form levelled off since the turn of the year much like the rest of the side.

Souness believes it is now make or break time for the 24-year-old who could fulfil his potential or just as easily end up as a player who failed to reach their true potential.

The pundit wrote: “I went big on Alli when he burst on the scene, but he’s at a crossroads now and it will be interesting to see if he turns out to be a nearly man or the player I thought he was going to be after he scored 23 goals in 57 games for club and country in 2016-17.

“With his athleticism and technique, he’s at his best arriving late into the box and scoring, but his return since has been disappointing.

“As a former midfielder myself, what you don’t want is being run back towards your own goal by somebody who constantly gets in there.”

Spurs Web Opinion

Dele had quite a decent season and sometimes gets unfairly criticised just because he set the bar so high in his first couple of years at the club. He is never going to score 20 plus goals every season but he is now a lot more involved in the build-up play and gets on the ball more in dangerous areas.

The injury to Kane also certainly hampered his form as he was getting back to his best in the number ten role in Mourinho’s first few games in charge. With Kane back fit and the likes of Lucas, Son and Bergwijn providing genuine width, I believe we will see the best of Dele again when the league resumes.

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