Paul Merson has claimed that Dele Alli’s body language suggests that he does not have a connection with Jose Mourinho.
Dele has been a fringe figure at Tottenham for the majority of the season but has come back into reckoning since recovering from injury in January (transfermarkt.com).
The midfielder produced his best performance of the season in Spurs’ 4-0 win over Wolfsberger on Wednesday which left Spurs fans expected him to be handed a start against Burnley on the back of that display.
However, Dele once again had to be content with a place on the bench for Sunday’s clash against Burnley, with the Tottenham boss preferring to start with a front four of Harry Kane, Son Heung-min, Lucas Moura and Gareth Bale.
Mourinho’s decision was vindicated, with Bale netting a brace and Kane and Moura also finding the back of the net in the 4-0 win.
Dele was brought on for the final 24 minutes when he replaced Lucas Moura, however, Merson feels that something is still not quite between the England international and Mourinho.
The former Arsenal midfielder told Sky Sports: “When the manager is talking to him before he is coming on, there doesn’t seem that connection there.
“It seems like he is looking the other way, he is not looking him in the eye and listening to every word, he is sort of looking the other way.”
Spurs Web Opinion
A player does not necessarily need to look a manager in the eye to listen to his instructions and so I am not sure we should be reading too much into Dele’s body language. It would be understandable if the former MK Dons man has not warmed to Mourinho given the midfielder’s lack of game time this season. However, as we have seen with Ndombele’s evolution, the 24-year-old does not really need to get along with the Portuguese coach in order to establish himself a key player in the side.
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