Opinion: Analysing the three Dele Alli solutions for Spurs – Keep, sell or loan

Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
Dom Le Roy

Those of us that keep an eye on Twitter will have seen Fabrizio Romano broadcast Dele’s displeasure at his lack of game time under Jose Mourinho and his subsequent desire to leave.

Whilst Dele is clearly unhappy at present, would it be the right decision to allow him to move on?

There are three arguments we can explore here:


The immediate solution would be to sell the 24-year-old. PSG have expressed an interest in the attacking midfielder, who has 50 goals and 36 assists in the Premier League after featuring 160 times for Spurs (TransferMarkt).

This is a record that would impress most pundits and scouts but seemingly goes unnoticed by fans, both of Spurs and rival teams. Selling a player of Dele’s calibre would prove to be exceedingly difficult due to his age and nationality, but if anyone could cough up the money for him, it would likely be PSG.

Having said this, it would take a significant amount of time to convince me (and many others) that this would be the solution to the ‘Dele problem’.

We are all aware of the impact he can have, we need only look at the 16/17 season, where Dele racked up 22 goals and 13 assists in all competitions (TransferMarkt).

If a scenario exists in which he can replicate that form, it would prove to be a huge benefit for the entire club. In addition, it would hopefully help to propel us back into the Champions League next season.


Contrastingly, Spurs could opt to keep Dele at the club. We know how difficult it is to navigate in the January transfer window, and Daniel Levy would most likely need a replacement lined up.

There is talk of Christian Eriksen making a sensational loan return, however, this would most likely be a short-term fix to a long-term problem.

In the instance of keeping Dele at the club, we can assume that he would expect to feature more often than the mere four appearances he has in the league so far this season.

We all know his capability and quality when he finds even an inkling of form, we saw it against West Ham last season – during Jose’s first game in charge.

He can make things happen and provide that link to the front men that we have evidently missed. We must consider that over 75% of Tottenham’s goals in the Premier League have solely been provided by Kane and Son; Dele would add an extra threat to our attack.

As well as this, he would provide that sense of unpredictability that we have been missing this season.


There is always the option to loan Dele and allow him to rekindle his form at another club.

He is a massive asset to the club due to his age and value, meaning that he could well outlast Mourinho at Spurs.

It Is public knowledge that Dele played his best football under former boss Mauricio Pochettino, and there has always been a ‘special relationship’ between the two.

A 6-month loan (without an option to buy) might well be the answer to quash this feud between Jose and the England ‘star’.

A loan would provide Dele with the opportunity to showcase that eagerness and desire to play football, which would hopefully leave Mourinho with no choice but to include him in his plans.

Whether or not a loan will materialise is something we will have to keep an eye on in the final weeks of the transfer window.

The Verdict

To answer the question: Keep, Loan or Sell?

The sale of Dele would rightfully cause outrage among fans; this should not even be a possibility to most. A loan would not be the most disastrous move.

However, the strongest argument in this debate would be to allow Dele to stay and fight for his place. He is too good to let go, he is still young and eager, provides a different style of play and offers more to the team than many others.

As well as this, Dele deserves the chance to fight for the club. He could become a legend here if he worked for it, and it is up to the manager to provide that chance.

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  1. There is a fourth option; get rid of Mourinho. His highly personalised mismanagement of Dele is nothing short of disgraceful, as is his ‘park-the-bus-mug-a-goal’ tactics. The ends never justify the means and for a club with the traditions of Spurs winning a trophy using these tactics is simply not worth it.


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