Opinion: How Dele needs to reinvent himself to be a key player under Jose Mourinho

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Dele Alli
Charlotte Wilson/Offside/Offside via Getty Images)

The Dele debate is one that has been going on for quite some time now, with many looking to garner the reasons behind Jose Mourinho’s decision to seemingly freeze him out of the first team.

Dele is certainly a player who has become a huge victim of his own success from the early days at Spurs as he set the bar remarkably high at such a young age.

People see not setting that bar even higher season after season is a failure despite the midfielder continuing to rack up impressive numbers each year.

Although Dele is clearly still a top player with a big future ahead of him, there is a strong case for him to adapt his playing style in order to be one of the first names on the team sheet once again.

I believe that this change must come in the form of swapping his near centre forward role to becoming a deep-lying playmaker.

The seasons of watching a feisty, hungry, determined youngster who was fresh on the scene were great but, with the squad rapidly changing under our new Portuguese management, the Dele we all used to know and love will have to adapt too.

Fortunately, he has the talent required to make the transition as his composure on the ball, ability to beat a man, and skill at threading a pass makes him a player that every team would love to have amongst their ranks.

However, it is no secret that the Tottenham central midfield has a lot of competition for places with the likes of Tanguy Ndombele, Giovani Lo Celso, Pierre Emile Hojberg, Harry Winks and Moussa Sissoko all pushing for first-team selection.

This means that, if Dele really wants to put his stamp on the Jose era, then he needs to make the transformation, making himself stand out.

The Spurs attack is now at possibly one of the best stages it has ever been at after the return of Gareth Bale over the summer and both Harry Kane and Heung Min Son taking all the headlines of late.

Goals should not be a problem for the side but the service to that front three needs to be consistent.

Following the departure of Danish maestro, Christian Eriksen in January 2020, the side have lacked that creative spark from midfield despite Argentine, Lo Celso showcasing his talent on many occasions.

The responsibility of linking the attack to the middle of the park has yet to be allocated so if Dele can resurface some old form whilst playing in a different role, his route back into the starting XI could be somewhat clear.

Let’s not forget that, at the age of 24, whilst some players his age are still finding their feet in the top flight, Dele has already recorded an eye-catching 33 assists in 158 Premier League games and that is without mentioning the 50 goals to go with that (Premier League).

Dele is without a doubt one of the most talented players in the Spurs squad, however, the task facing Mourinho now is how to unlock an Alli that we have never seen before.

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