It is fair to say Dele Alli has seen his stock drop a fair bit in the last year and a half. He was one of the most highly rated young midfielders in world football a couple of years ago.
However, injuries and loss of form have since seen the Spurs midfielder lose his place in the Tottenham side and was left out of the recent England international squad.
Injuries have had their say on how much involvement Dele has had in recent times having sustained damage to his left hamstring on four occasions over the past two years (Guardian).
The 23-year-old was handed the opportunity to start against Watford by Mauricio Pochettino and showed glimpses of his old self with his interplay and even managed to get on the scoresheet.
On the back of his performance against the Hornets, former Spurs midfielder Jamie Redknapp has insisted that it will be a mistake to write him off.
In his column for the Daily Mail, Redknapp wrote: “There seem to be a lot of short memories out there. Not so long ago, this was one of Europe’s most highly-rated midfield talents, being linked with the likes of Real Madrid. He should not be written off, like some sort of one or two-season wonder.
“Can he do better? Of course he can. It is not too harsh to suggest that, and I’m sure Alli realises that himself, too. I named the former MK Dons midfielder in my ’10 Premier League players to watch’ for this newspaper back in August.
“I discussed how this kid is simply too good to go a season scoring just five goals in 25 games, which was what he managed in 2018-19. I called on him to become the ‘hunter’ rather than the ‘hunted’ and bring back his nasty streak.
“I stand by that. I felt this would be the biggest campaign of his young career. He had to silence the critics, and maybe his first goal of the season can be a launchpad for that.”
He also backed Alli to win his place back in the England set up and be the springboard to help Spurs turn their form around.
Redknapp added, “Too many have been quick to judge Alli and I hope Saturday can be the start of him showing us what he is all about. He should be walking into Tottenham’s training ground on Monday morning with a swagger about him, feeling ready to get to work.
“Gareth Southgate leaving him out of his latest England squad, for the games against the Czech Republic and Bulgaria, may have given him a kick up the backside, too. When asked about his absence, Southgate said the 23-year-old’s season had not got going. Well, it has now.
“Tottenham need their players to pull together. Mauricio Pochettino, as brilliant as he has been, is a manager under pressure and they need to get themselves into that top four. They can do that with the help of Alli, so let’s see if the starlet can kick on and silence those critics of his.
Spurs Web Opinion
If Alli stays fit for a sustained period and gets a consistent run in the side, I believe it is only a matter of time before he gets back to his best. Alli has been unfortunate with injuries over the last year and a half and so a lot of the criticism he has been getting has been unwarranted.
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