Hugo Lloris has claimed that Dele Alli has “switched on” after failing to secure his move away from Tottenham during the January transfer window.
Alli was heavily linked with a loan move to Paris Saint-Germain during January but the proposed transfer failed to materialise in the final days of the window.
Jose Mourinho insisted at the time that the 24-year-old can be an important player for the North Londoners when he was at his best.
The Spurs boss has certainly handed Alli plenty of opportunities since his return from injury and the England international has certainly repaid the faith shown in him.
Lloris admitted that the former MK Dons man is now getting his fitness and confidence back.
The Tottenham captain told The Evening Standard: “As a team-mate, he’s always been professional, he put his disappointment on the side and from day one in the second part of the season, after the transfer market closed, he switched on and he started to step by step improve his fitness and get as much confidence as he can.
“Now he’s coming back and that’s good for the team and obviously the best for his season is ahead of us.”
The recent victories over Burnley and Fulham have brought Tottenham back into the conversation regarding a potential top-four finish and Lloris insisted that the players have plenty of belief that they can make up the ground.
The goalkeeper added: “We still believe we can finish high in the table, we’re still in the race. But it’s difficult obviously.
“We’ve missed points but with 12 games to go anything is possible and we need to believe. The confidence is coming back into the team, so that’s very important.
“And obviously you see important players coming back, like Dele and Gareth again. For different reasons they could not play at the level they wanted to help the team [previously] but it was the case yesterday and that’s good for the team and for the club.”
Despite picking up all three points, Tottenham were not at their best at Craven Cottage on Thursday, particularly in the second half.
However, Lloris credited Fulham’s quality and admitted that they forced the away side to defend deep.
The Frenchman said regarding the 1-0 win: “In the way we play if we don’t press well, unfortunately, we have to drop because our midfielders and our defence start to be exposed and there’s a lot of space behind to cover.
“I don’t think we played the second half that we wanted. Obviously, Fulham is a very good team. If you don’t look at the table, they’re very competitive but they had a bad start to the season.
“They’re in the running to have the points to save themselves but it’s a very good team. So in this moment of the year, only the three points matter and that’s a big three points for us. Especially after Burnley.
“For some reason, there has been ups and downs in our performance. But we’re still looking forward to improve things and get better.”
Spurs Web Opinion
There is certainly a marked difference in Dele Alli’s body language since his return from injury. He seems hungry and determined to prove his critics wrong, which will hopefully bring the best out of the midfielder.
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