Kevin Phillips has claimed that Dele Alli does not look happy at Tottenham Hotspur and the midfielder needs a new challenge to reignite his career.

Alli was on the fringes of the squad for the majority of last season under Jose Mourinho and the midfielder was linked with a move away from Tottenham during the summer.

The 25-year-old ended up staying at the club and it looked as though he had found a new lease of life under Nuno Espirito Santo, impressing in a deeper role in the first three games of the campaign.

However, Alli was one of several Spurs stars to struggle over the last few weeks as the club fell to three consecutive Premier League losses against Crystal Palace, Chelsea and Arsenal.

The midfielder was subsequently dropped for Tottenham’s clash against Aston Villa on Sunday, with Nuno opting to use a three-man midfield of Oliver Skipp, Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg and Tanguy Ndombele.

Phillips opined that while Alli’s talent is not in doubt, he might have to leave North London to rediscover his best form.

When asked about the Spurs midfielder’s performances, the former Sunderland striker told Football Insider: “I don’t think he’s been the same player for the last couple of seasons, I have to be honest.

“In my own personal opinion, I don’t think Tottenham fans would want to see him leave. But I think it might be that time where he needs a fresh challenge to get the best out of Dele Alli.

“For me, when he plays, he never looks happy. I never see that smile on his face. He’s got his shoulders up, his chest out.

“Maybe a fresh challenge, you’d have to ask the player. There’s certainly a talent there.

“When you are Dele Alli and you’re not performing, things aren’t going well, ultimately you are going to come in for criticism. Harry Kane did earlier in the season when he wasn’t scoring goals.

“Part of me thinks maybe he feels a fresh challenge, a new club, might just reignite his career. Get him back to where he was a couple of seasons ago.”

Spurs Web Opinion

I disagree with the notion that Alli needs to play as a number ten in order to be effective.

I believe that the role that Nuno has used him in this season suits the 25-year-old as it helps the team make use of his engine and ability to press while also offering him the freedom to make runs in behind the opposition backline.

However, the midfielder was poor against Chelsea and Arsenal and he certainly has his work cut out to win his place back in the starting eleven, particularly if Nuno decides to stick with the 4-2-3-1 formation that worked well against Aston Villa.

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